This week I learned that the majority of people do the majority of their decision-making in an unconscious way. I imagine this must save a lot of time and effort! I think it likely also explains why I am so often frustrated by the kinds of choices people make. For example, the people whose driving choices are about saving a few minutes of road time, but whose actions have the potential to cause accidents. That scenario makes a lot more sense if it isn’t something being consciously chosen.
At the same time, this terrifies me. Apparently there are a lot of people out there making potentially lethal decisions in an unconscious way.
I’ve never learned to drive. The sheer amount of information involved and how quickly you have to process it to make decisions always seemed too much for me. I can just about manage the decisions involved in cycling, but that’s a lot slower and you have far fewer technical things to manage. It can even come up when I’m walking – usually only when I’m tired. If the terrain is tricky then the process of working out, step by step, where to put my feet is exhausting. In really bad conditions I can end up frozen, having no idea how to walk.
I’ve learned a lot about my own brain recently, and about how my thinking processes relate to other people’s. It clarifies some things about stuff I struggle with and stuff other people do that I find confusing.