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Thinking Versus Feeling: Can't We All Just Get Along?

Psychiatrist and pioneering psychologist Carl Jung developed a theory that measured one's personality in three different areas. In each area, individuals had a personality that fell somewhere on a continuum between one extreme and the other. One of these is a continuum between thinking and feeling; scores on a test of this personality aspect measures the extent to which the right brain or the left brain dominates decisions.

Isabel Briggs-Myers and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs, subsequently developed Jung's work. Their work has been popularized as Myers-Briggs personality types. The Thinking and Feeling axis (generally abbreviated as T or F) of the Myers-Briggs test is often equated with rational decision making and emotional decision making. Sometimes those who make decisions using their left brains (the T's) look at those who make decisions with their right brains (the F's) and think that the F's are being unreasonable when they cannot explain exactly why they make particular decisions.

Most schools are geared toward developing and training the left brain. Math, science, reading, writing, and rote memorization are all left-brain activities. This emphasis leaves some would-be traders with a relatively overdeveloped left brain and underdeveloped right brain.

A balance between left-brain analysis and right-brain intuition is critical for optimum trading, so training must overcome any disparity a trader has in his cerebral development. Every trader has a dominant hemisphere, but recognizing the nondominant hemisphere is also important, especially if this is the right brain.

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