After the decades long scientific suggestion that people ignore logic when making a decision and go with their gut instinct, a researcher has suggested that maybe thinking about logic is also intuitive.

Wim De Neys, a psychological scientist at the University of Toulouse in France says that psychologists have partly based their conclusions about reasoning and decision-making on questions like the below prompt and question.

"Bill is 34. He is intelligent, punctual but unimaginative and somewhat lifeless. In school, he was strong in mathematics but weak in social studies and humanities.

Which one of the following statements is most likely?

(a) Bill plays in a rock band for a hobby.

(b) Bill is an accountant and plays in a rock band for a hobby."

In the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, De Neys explained that most people would pick answer (b) because of their stereotypes about accountants.

But in reality the reader has no idea what Bill does for a living.

The authors explained that Bill could be a politician, a concert pianist, or a drug dealer.

They explained that its more likely that only one random possibility, the rock band, is true, than that both (a) and (b) would happen to be true.

The research suggests that when making decisions about the world people don’t use logic.

But De Neys said that the trust is more complicated and that when most people read the above question or one like it, there’s a sense that something isn’t quite right.

"That feeling you have, that there's something fishy about the problem—we have a wide range of ways to measure that conflict," said De Neys.

He explained that when people are thinking about this kind of a problem a part of their brain that deals with conflict is active and although they choose the stereotypical answer or the other, they still sense that something is wrong.

"They stick to their gut feeling and don't do the logical thing, but they do sense that what they are doing is wrong," said De Neys.

But De Neys thinks the sense that something isn’t quite right with the decision a person makes comes from an intuitive sense of logic.

De Neys said that this may help explain more complex decision making in teaching others to make better decisions.

He gave an example about smokers and said, if you think that a smoker smokes because her or she doesn’t understand the logic, that smoking kills, you might put a lot of energy into explaining how bad smoking is for them, and this may not work because the actual problem is addiction.