Flip a Coin

Why Flip a Coin :

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Each of us makes tough decisions in a different way. 

Whenever he has to make a crucial decision, Jeff Bezos asks himself one question. There is either a ‘Hell yeah!’ or a ‘no.‘ 

If you find it hard to choose between two options, flip a coin.

A coin flip, coin tossing, or heads or tails is a method of choosing between two alternatives, heads of tails, often used to resolve disputes between two parties.Essentially, it is a kind of sortition that can lead to two possible outcomes. If the coin lands on the side facing up, the party that calls that side wins.  

Flip a Coin
Flip a Coin

 It is a simple and unbiased method of settling disputes or deciding between two or more arbitrary options. Based on a game theoretic analysis, it gives both sides even odds and prevents escalation into a struggle. In sports and other games, it is widely used to determine arbitrary factors like which side of the field a team will play from, or which side will attack or defend first; these decisions may favor one side or be neutral. Conditions such as wind direction, sun position, and others may influence the decision. 

It is usually the captain who makes the call in team sports, while the umpire or referee oversees them.  

Flip a Coin History :

Coin flipping dates back to the Roman Empire, when it was known as “Heads or Ships”. In recent years, it has been associated with probability and statistics. During their historic flight in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright tossed a coin to determine who would fly first. Rumor has it that Portland, Oregon was named after a coin flip. In some sporting events, a coin toss determines which team will possess the ball.

There have been two possible outcomes for flipping a coin for centuries. Historically, it was known as ‘Heads or Ships’, or ‘navia aut caput’, because of the two-headed god design on early coinage and the ship’s prow.

In a Roman coin toss, the rules were different in that they didn’t call out, as we do today, which side would win. “Heads” would be assigned to one of the protagonists. The emperor was on the heads side of the coin, so it was assumed that he agreed with the winner. It was always the “ship” side of the coin that lost.

Because the ‘heads’ side featured a cross and the ‘tails’ side had indentations resulting from the pressing process, the game became known as ‘Cross or Pile’ in Middle-Age Britain.

No matter what its name or reasoning, it has always been used for the same purpose. A dispute should be settled, a decision made, or a rivalry should be ended.

Flip a Coin – Heads or Tails 

A coin toss is widely used today to decide between two equally possible answers. A coin is flipped in the air, while the other participant shouts heads or tails.

‘Heads’ refers to the side of the coin with a portrait, while ‘Tails’ refers to the opposite side. Because it is the opposite of heads, it does not have any form of tail.

In order to determine who goes first, or who gets to choose a film, if a person calls out ‘heads’ and the heads side of the coin lands face up, they are the winner. If it lands on ‘tails,’ the other person wins. It’s that simple.

Why Flip a Coin is Magic

You might not think it, but flipping a coin can be a great way to make a decision.

Flip a coin if you’re torn between two choices. Follow the coin’s decision if you’re satisfied or relieved. However, if the realist of the coin toss leaves you feeling uneasy and even wondering why you used a coin toss to decide such an important decision in the first place, go with the other option instead. The right decision came from your gut feeling.

Science backs intuition despite gut feelings. Your basal ganglia and insula drive intuitive decisions, according to Fabritius and Hagemann (authors of The Leading Brain : Neuroscience hacks to work smarter, better, and happier). 

In your basal ganglia, your experiences are stored as routines and patterns. A highly sensitive part of your brain, the insula, is responsible for body awareness. 

If you need to make a decision, your unconscious brain often starts solving the problem immediately, even if you aren’t aware of it. When you finally make a conscious decision, your brain compares it to the one you made unconscious.

Then what?

  • When your unconscious and conscious agree, your brain releases a subtle reward signal. Ultimately, the decision feels good not only because it seems logical, but also because it feels right.
  • Your insula detects other changes in your body if your unconscious disagrees with your conscious decision. When it registers a threat, your decision doesn’t feel right.

If your basal ganglia predict a reward, but you decide otherwise, your brain registers a threat. An electronic signal called error-related negativity is generated by your anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).

Those are the kinds of decisions that are made intuitively. Your body knows when you are making the right or wrong decision. You don’t know why — you just “know”. That’s intuition at work.

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