The Two Thinking Parties in Brain

When do we use our brains? While there are lot of its aspect, two of them are prominent: When we want to make a decision and when we want to solve a problem. Most of the time we are involved in decision making, be it selecting your outfit or choosing the best route to an unknown place. Problem solving mind comes in act only when you have a task to be solved. A working professional does this everyday at office (hope so) and students do it in every exams.

In either case, it involves two parties of brain working exclusively with some understanding: Quicker Brain and Robust Brain. Terms might look strange but I name them for a purpose, quicker actions will never be right always and robust actions will never be faster. Let me try to make it clear.

What is 2 x 3? If you tell me 6, you used your Quicker Brain to solve it and the output was instantaneous. What is 24 x 46? Well, you have to knock your Robust Brain now and take about 5s to give the answer 1014.

Wait, did you really use Robust Brain? Or did i take advantage of your Quicker Brain to trick you in believing me blindly? Well the actual answer is 1104.

Quicker Brain does things faster based on some of its historic memory. It does not do fact check again because that would take time. It is designed to respond faster with facts it already know, by ignoring the effort taking process. Just like humans, Quicker Brain too hates investing energy in doing something burdening, they love shortcuts. When a complex math problem was put forth, Quicker Brain knew it would take more time and so it passes on that job to Robust Brain. Though this guy is Robust, it is slow and lazy since you have to store intermediate result in memory and still proceed with multiplication, lot of processing is required.

So how do they affect the way we think? We sometimes assume the question put forth to us is simple and we use our Quicker Brain, than to pass onto Robust Brain. Let me ask an another math question and you should answer it in 3 seconds. You have a ball and a bat. The price of the bat is 100 bucks more than that of the ball. If the total price is 110 bucks, what is the price of the ball?

If you used your Quicker Brain, the answer is 10 bucks. If you used your Robust Brain, the answer is 5 bucks and thats the right answer.

People who said 10 bucks, if I did not tell them they were wrong, they would blindly believe they were right. When they were told about the right answer, they used Robust guy and acknowledged their wrong.

In today’s social media world, fake news are getting unnoticed just because most of us use our Quicker Brain, unless someone says you are reading a fake news. People make use of this oppurtunity in spreading them faster than it was before. Tech Giants are investing in millions to fight this fake news, just because people are more prone to accept fake than using their BRAINS. Irony is, its the technology that is feeding us with fake news and the same technology fights back 🙂

But we cannot use Robust brain all the time. What if you use Robust Brain to choose a dish for dinner, that may take more time and you clash your brain with justifications and reasonings and you end up affecting others socially. So when should we use Robust guy? When you are going to make an important decision that affects long term, wake up this lazy guy. When you cast your vote in elections, shifting your career, sharing any content in social media (list goes on) use your lazy guy.

While there are many areas where you should use Quicker Brain, selecting the outfit was my favorite. If you google about Steve Jobs, you could see him wearing a black T-shirt all the time. Was he having just one or two of its sort? No, he considered selecting the outfit was least important and reduced the burden of choosing the best and invested his thinking in other skills. Selecting an outfit was the least priority to him.

Finally I will conclude with saying “Use Your Brain”.

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Reference: "Thinking Fast and Slow" by noble laureate Daniel Kahneman 

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