Thursday, January 14, 2010

Decision Making Influenced by Dopamine Levels?

Decision making is influenced by dopamine levels.

So reports an interesting January 8th article from the BBC News on a study at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuro-imaging at UCL.

Study lead, Dr Tali Sharot noted, "Our results indicate that when we consider alternative options when making real-life decisions, dopamine has a role in signalling the expected pleasure from those possible future events." The doctor went on to say, "We then use that signal to make our choices."

In that same article, Professor John Maule who works at Leeds University Business School on decision making, noted that "... in recent years people had begun to realise emotional or "gut instinct" decision making was just as important in human choices as analytical decision making."

In my thinking this translates ... we analyze all the facts but decisions are often made largely on feelings.

We have a gut instinct, a sense of whether or not something is going to be pleasurable and to what degree, a sense very early on of whether or not it might be 'for us' or not. We feel it deep down. Either that is affected by dopamine levels or it creates them which then get translated through the wonder of our whole person into decision making.

Interesting. Since it is out of my professional depth, I'll only fall back on what I do know for sure. Truly, we are "fearfully and wonderfully made", Psalm 139:14 The Bible.

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