Head or gut? - why is this the wrong question

    How to make the right decision

    What should we trust more, our intuition or our intellect? Even though countless books have been written and every year the gut question returns to us like a summer slump, the answer is simple:

    „We should never ignore intuition, but we should never blindly trust it either.“

    Intuition has long since reached companies and sciences, where only a few years ago rational decision-making was considered the measure of all things. But people do not behave rationally. To what degree they should follow intuition in their decisions is a key question.

    Which has led to the discovery of the purely emotive cycles

    As a craftsman, mathematician and entrepreneur, Graf was familiar with intuition and cognition; for example, when the traditional procedure proved itself in retrospect or when the project calculation corrected the expert estimate, as well as when statistics and analyses had long since produced “felt” or “known” results.

    The KiE trilogy soon showed that the emotion system works autonomously and uses the logic of emotions to produce a decision that always precedes the conscious one. The Libet Experiment was one of the scientific phenomena that showed the way.

    Now, in the terms of the tension between gut and head, the order in which decisions are made is of little help. The unpleasant feeling that arises as a result is the clue to the problem as well as the solution.

    The question of “head or gut?” does not help and suggests that we have a real choice. We do not have a choice, at least not in the conventional sense of either-or. The solution for a safe decision can be found in emotive-cognitive cycles.

    The KiE trilogy explains why the unpleasant feeling is so important

    The question of “head or gut?” only arises if the two decision-making systems do not succeed in creating a “coherent” world view. Thus, both the emotion system in an emotive cycle and the preliminary decision, with the imagined effect, can trigger an unpleasant impulse in emotive-cognitive cycles. These emotive-cognitive cycles generate an unpleasant feeling as an accompanying effect, which leads to the “head or gut” question?

    Safe decisions can be made if the unpleasant feeling is considered a necessary and valuable clue.

    The trilogy explains why some decisions are accompanied by a feeling

    In fact, this phenomenon occurs very rarely because other decisions are accompanied by a neutral feeling or no feeling at all. If we assume there are 20,000 decisions made per day, conservative estimates suggest that just a few percent and on some days less are made with the feeling “head or gut?”

    The disjointed feeling between “head and gut” is a signal between the emotion system and the cognition system to a good conscious decision in emotive-cognitive cycles.

    The KiE trilogy explains why intuition is contained in 100% of decisions

    Contrary to traditional assumptions, the KiE trilogy shows that intuition is contained in 100% of decisions, regardless of how far we consciously perceive it.

    This way the question of “head or gut?” completely dissolves. We have no choice in intuition; intuition is contained in all forms of decision making.

    Therefore, we should make sure that our intuition generates the best possible decision from our emotion system. In this sense, at least two issues are central:

    1. the emotional arousal, which is crucial in the logic of emotions
    2. the neuronal emotional structures that have formed from our experiences

    The KiE trilogy explains why emotional arousal is important

    If the emotional agitation increases, the emotion system dominates and the emotional motives move into the dysfunctional area. Mindfulness turns into rigidity and sovereign influence turns into uncontrolled reaction. Intuition, if still consciously perceived, is just as untrustworthy as the preliminary decisions in the cognitive system. If the agitation continues to increase, decisions and actions are executed in an affective manner. In this sense, intuition is not to be trusted.

    The trilogy shows: How to make the right decision

    Good decisions are made when decisions are aligned with the human decision-making process. It takes into account the fact that intuition is already present after 350 ms as a result of the emotion system and is recognized with a high degree of discrimination. Only then is a preliminary decision (head) formed in interaction with the cognition. It can be formed into a good decision in several emotive-cognitive cycles. Here too there is a sovereign decision. If there are too few thought cycles, the result is often a ” careless” decision. If there are too many, the thought carousel begins again.

    Finally, before going into action with determination, the conscious decision is checked with intuition.

    The trilogy shows the answer: gut, then head and then gut again in cycle

    Good decisions arise from the trilogy between the emotion and cognition systems:

    1. intuition (gut) – conscious perception of unsolicited intuition
    2. cognition (head) – conscious shaping of a decision in knowledge of the human decision making process
    3. intuition ( gut ) – consciously appealing to your own intuition

    In order to apply this individual decision strategy, people can learn the mode of action and conscious use of intuition within a few hours.

    The KiE trilogy reveals that decisions are almost always preliminary.

    Conscious decisions are not a linear process, as the phrase “making decisions” suggests. Decisions arise in emotive-cognitive cycles and are almost always preliminary.

    The first emotive cycle provides the first guaranteed decision after 350 ms and can be shaped into a good and conscious decision with emotive-cognitive cycles.

    Even if the cycles have led to a decision and an action, decisions can and should be corrected or confirmed based on the resulting effect. The achieved effect becomes, like an external thought cycle, another stimulus for a new decision. With the inseparability of emotions(E), intuition(i) and cognition(K), the KiE-trilogy, a clear impulse is generated again, which indicates to what degree the effect should be corrected.

    Good decisions with the KiE trilogy in teams

    Good decisions are made with decision-making processes such as the individual decision strategy. Jointly supported decisions are produced in the team with the prioritization and commitment process.
    The first steps are to consciously apply intuition and to differentiate between prioritizing and deciding.
    Decisions as well as leading basically means prioritizing and then making the decision for the selection. This applies to authoritarian, participative leaders as well as to traditional or agile teams.
    Internal conflicts and escalating group dynamics as well as stress and burnout are only negative symptoms of missing decision processes. These symptoms do not occur at all when decision-making processes are applied that are aligned with the human decision-making process.
    With solid decision-making processes, people and teams make good decisions and achieve their goals.

    Emotion Research

    KiE research means bringing together different and contradictory things into a coherent unity, just as the emotive-cognitive cycles of the KiE trilogy in the coherent world view demand.

    The Book

    You can find more information in the book by Richard Graf:

    Chapter 12 “Making decisions with confidence in the trinity of intuition-cognitive-intuition”

    Richard Graf „Die neue Entscheidungskultur“ – Mit gemeinsam getragenen Entscheidungen zum Erfolg, Hanser Verlag 2018

    “The emotional system is the origin and end of all thinking. New thinking with conscious emotion logic extends both human and artificial intelligence.”

    Richard Graf, 27. Januar 2020

    Our products with KiE-DecisionMaking


    Your guaranteed decision

    K-i-E Decision Making

    We bring about a jointly supported decision safely and promptly, within the company and for you.

    Keynote Speaker

    New thinking with the KiE trilogy

    K-i-E Decision Making Keynote Speaker

    We inspire and revolutionize how we decide and think with the discovery of the logic of emotions.


    Certified Master of DecisionMaking

    K-i-E Decision Making Seminare

    We develop your skills to bring about jointly supported decisions yourself.