When looking through the book to find something of interest to me, I came across Chapter 4: Sensation and Perception. This chapter specifically caught my eye because I recently read the book The Gift of Fear, given to me by my dad. The book is a #1 National Bestseller and the author, Gavin De Becker, discusses ways to utilize fear in a positive way, and uses experiences from clients that include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, to drive home the point that true fear is a gift, unwarranted fear is a curse, and learning how to tell the difference could save your life.
Before this class, I considered these gut instincts De Becker talks about to be something of a "sixth-sense", and even though I knew that there is no proof ESP exists I found his argument to be true. So I wondered why our "gut instincts" were proven to be so reliable, and besides several examples given in the book, what real proof is there?
I found in our text, that is also discussed in The Gift of Fear but less scientifically and with no scientific proof, that our brains are constantly taking in information, whether we are aware of it or not, our senses are constantly picking up stimuli, big and small, and scientists have found many examples of cross-modal processing when it comes to different stimuli from different senses. Our brains quickly piece together new senses that are stimulated, with what stimuli was there before, and with what we remember from our past, which as a result helps us make sense of our surroundings.
De Becker is telling us even though there may be contradicting thoughts going through your mind telling you that you are overreacting to fear, trusting your instincts is always the best route to take. You are not always aware of stimuli that your senses are picking up sending to your brain. "Instinct" is the result of the human sensory system and given to us for many reasons, and an important one is survival.