Coin in the Air

Emre Soyer
1 min readFeb 16, 2022
Soyer 2022

Indecision is frustrating.

Here’s a popular advice on beating it: When we can’t decide between two options, we could toss a coin and will know what to do when coin is in the air.

We might indeed lean toward one option before the coin falls. A choice can emerge in our minds and could momentarily solve indecisiveness.

Great. But would this lead to a good decision?

Not necessarily.

That choice would be impulsive. It would be heavily based on gut feelings at that moment, which may be influenced by outside parties in predictable ways.

For instance, if we are emotional during the toss, our decision while the coin is in the air would be different than when we’re calmer. Also, the time it takes for the coin to rise and fall wouldn’t allow us to uncover a potential third viable alternative, which can resolve the issue in a more favorable way.

But the coin experiment is not useless. It can be used to reveal one’s intuition about a choice at a given point in time, which then can be further scrutinized and refined.

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Emre Soyer

behavioral scientist, co-author of The Myth of Experience