Logic is the loser in uncertain situations

Roger Highfield in The Telegraph:

Cartoon_2Investing money, changing jobs, getting married: all big decisions that can mark a leap into the unknown. Now, a new brain-imaging study finds that the higher the level of uncertainty, the more likely it is that emotion and gut insinct, not logic, will rule.

This insight into what goes on in the brain when decisions are made in the face of missing information sheds light on how people save for retirement, how companies price insurance and how countries evaluate risks, ranging from climate change to terrorist attack.

Even ordering a strange-sounding dish at an exotic restaurant will summon the help of the same centre of the brain, one linked with handling emotions, which is different to the centre used when the brain weighs up known risks, such as the probability that a tossed coin will land heads up.

More here.