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Unconscious decisions and intuition: Tim Burton and neuroscience

Posted Oct 24 2009 10:00pm

Much of what we do, including our creative motivation and work, comes from or is strongly influenced by subconscious aspects of our mind – our intuition and shadow self, among other concepts.

Tim Burton In an interview about his films including the upcoming “Alice in Wonderland” (with the powerfully emotive Mia Wasikowska from the HBO series ‘In Treatment’ as Alice, and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter), director Tim Burton commented about his creative inspiration.

“I think we’re all a product of our upbringing, you know, in a sense,” he said. “I wasn’t a very literary person. I loved movies.

“What you grow up with is what influences you. Whether you were a reader and there’s a lot of books that you sort of want to translate to film or if it’s other things that took in. I was definitely of a generation where the things I grew up watching still have impact on me.

“There’s something about exercising that aspect of your personality or working with something that’s meant a lot to you. It’s just another way of processing ideas and all.

“So it’s not really a conscious decision. I don’t open up old ‘TV Guides’ and sit there and think, ‘Hmmmm, ‘Sanford & Son’, that’s the the movie I want to do. I watched that when I was a child…’ ”

[From Hero Complex blog, Los Angeles Times October 15, 2008]

  • Some of the neuroscience

In her Scientific American article Informed Decisions? – Acting on information you didn’t know you had, Susan Courtney reports on research which “demonstrates that the influences we are not aware of can hold greater sway than those we can consciously reject. We make countless ‘decisions’ each day without conscious deliberation.”

She notes, “It may not be surprising that we juggle multiple influences when we make decisions, including many of which we are not aware — particularly when the decisions involve emotional issues.”

Susan Courtney is an associate professor of psychology at Johns Hopkins University, where she runs the Courtney Lab of Cognitive Neuroscience and Working Memory.


Neuroscience articles

Intuition articles

Intuition / instinct quotes, books etc

The shadow self

Depth psychology

shadow self, intuition and decisions, unconscious decisions, being intuitive, intuition and creativity

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