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The Statue That Didn’t Look Right

We toggle back and forth between our conscious and unconscious modes of thinking, depending on the situation.

There are two ways your brain processes stimuli: The first way is conscious, logical, and definitive; it’s when we think about what we’ve learned, and eventually come up with an answer. The second way is much quicker than the first; it’s when our brains unconsciously pick up on the important stimuli in our surroundings and send us physical messages through indirect channels (e.g., the palms of your hands may begin to sweat slightly).

The part of our brains that leaps to conclusions like this is called the “adaptive unconscious,” and the emotional response it triggers is what we call “intuition.”

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