The bat and the ball cost $1,10. If you know that the bat is $1 more expensive than the ball, how much is the ball?
Your brain operates on two mutually interconnected and dependent principles: fast and slow. The fast one is responsible for “intuition” thus; quick answers. This principle uses the entire cognitive memory on recall method and tries to guess the answer. And it does all of that in a short period of time – practically in a matter of milliseconds. That’s why we are using the terms: “instinctive answer”, or “he’s got good intuition.”
Well he doesn’t. It was a lucky guess nothing more and you’ll see why shortly.
Slow principle on the other hand is responsible for calculative part of our minds. It won’t rush into anything. Instead, it will use every available resource on its disposal to calculate before it reaches the decision. If it’s short on data, it will force you to find it and feed them to it through reading or observations. Only then you will be aware of the answer.
So what is the answer of the riddle?
The moment you read it your mind formed a number. That number is $0.10 cents. It was some fast answering to be honest but essentially wrong. Make the calculation and see it for yourself. If the ball costs $0.10 cents, then the total cost would be $1.20 ($0.10 for the ball and $1.10 for the bat – that’s one dollar more expensive.) The right answer is $0.05.
You see how overwhelming this intuitive answer really is? It’s clear to you now that it is wrong but you are still struggling with it. This is the core of every marketing method – provide visual of contextual that will trigger the fast mode on high intensity for it to suppress the slow mode entirely and thus; to make the sale.
And as trivial as it might seem, this simple exercise demonstrates two principles of decision making process occurring simultaneously in your brain.
This split functioning of your cognitive behavior made you look stupid on countless occasions and possibly led to different types of failures since when you were a little boy. And it’s not your fault either. 95% of people will answer it same as you. It’s a common feature.
And those 5% got the exactly same answer. But the difference is: they didn’t tell it out loud. They sensed something fishy in it and suppressed the intuitive answer or action. Again, that doesn’t mean that they have full control over it. Nobody does. They simply think “forensically.”
They just don’t believe the hype, that’s all. And that’s what gives them an edge. Those 5% are making things happen.
You see, there is an interesting partition of human species. It is based on a theory
that you have three types of people in this world:
1. People who don’t know what is happening and that’s unfortunately the most of the species;
2. People who know what’s happening;
3. And finally you have people who make things happen.
That last group consists mainly of those who learned, in different ways, to control their intuitive actions. So here is your window of opportunity. We all come to same intuitive answer to that riddle. It’s just the matter of suppression, nothing more. And it’s rather easy to master it.
The simplest method of all is to stop answering immediately and to talk slow with low, yet hearable tone of voice. This practice will do two things: a) you will allocate more time to your slow mode to get to the correct answer and b) even when you speak you will get the most of your words from that calculative, slow mode.
Development in one segment of your life will positively impact all the others. That means that once you learn and master the suppression of your intuition on vocal level, you will never again make a hasty, reckless move. Maybe in a life or death situation but that’s entirely different level of functioning. It can be incorporated in normal functioning but it takes time and specific mind set to master it.
The ones who mastered both are at the top of everything. They are those 2% who own 86% of everything this planet and we all have to offer to them.
Think first, act second. That’s the main lesson here.