Kim Stephenson, a psychologist researching some aspects of decision-making, said subconscious reactions could be an advantage in some situations.
He said people and animals were designed subconsciously to recognise and fixate on anything out of the ordinary as it could help to identify and escape from predators quickly, and so has an ecological advantage.
He said: “Your subconscious mind is more useful for specific things, where you don’t have time and need to react quickly. “It’s not to say that if you’ve got to make a decision you should make it in a fraction of a second – that is daft.
“But your body is designed to do some things very quickly, so using instincts would be better there.” Dr Zhaoping agreed: “The trick is knowing when this applicable or not. Trusting your instincts is only useful in some situations.”