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Risk Management Research: Body over Mind?

A new study supports the theory that we should let our bodies dictate decisions involving risk

The researchers say that evidence is mounting to indicate that our bodies can sometimes govern how we think and feel, rather than the other way round. It also reveals that those people who are more in tune with their bodies are more likely to be led by their ‘gut feelings’.

Makes sense to me. I like being able to let my body decide on its own when to run or when to sweat based on well-established criteria instead of always having to use brain power for every micro-decision. Anyone who has seen a horror film knows what I am talking about. Directors use all kinds of methods to get the body to react instead of the brain.

Just to confuse this point a little, a scene in Jurassic Park comes to mind. Ripples in the liquid in a cup indicate danger (as opposed to a guitar string being played). Is that the brain interpreting the ripples as danger or is it the brain interpreting the ripples as vibration…and then the body decides vibration is danger? But I digress. Back to the new study:

The researchers measured participants’ physical responses to each offer by recording how much they sweated through the fingertips and how much their heart rate changed.

I did a quick search on related research and found a 1959 study that sounds oddly similar. It was called “Colorimetric Measurement of Anxiety: A clinical and experimental procedure” and says fingertip sweat is linked to “gut feelings”. So we’ve had this research for over fifty years and now? I also noted the 1959 study points out that fingertip sweat is not the same indicator as body sweat.

..prehension provoked palmar finger tip sweating without affecting a change in general bodily sweating

Posted in Security.

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