Kellogg School of Management professor Loran Nordgren helped create the field of "unconscious thought theory," which suggests that people make better decisions when they avoid pure rationalism or pure intuition. That mix of approaches is particularly valuable for executives, Nordgren argues. "The decisions that executives make are invariably complex decisions where they have to weigh many different factors. ... These decisions are precisely the ones where unconscious thought proves particularly useful," he says.

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