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Bosses' brains work differently, scans show

The Local · 6 Sep 2012, 07:13

Published: 06 Sep 2012 07:13 GMT+02:00

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In a study released this week, the Jülich Research Centre near Aachen and the University of Cologne conducted magnetic resonance imaging scans MRIs on 35 managers to test their decision-making processes.

The test participants were given word pairings, such as "teamwork" or "success," and "power" or "loyalty," and told to choose a word.

In all, the participants made 540 decisions within 22 minutes. The number of decisions and the tight timeframe were meant to simulate managers' daily challenges, said Svenja Caspers, neuroscientist at the Jülich Research Centre.

The findings were compared with those of a control group comprised of people the same age, intelligence level and gender of the managers' group.

The results showed that the managers activated an area of the brain which suggested they made quick decisions based on experience.

The control group of non-managers, on the other hand, used different neural networks for tiered problem solving which took longer.

The findings of the study have recently been published in the peer-reviewed journal "PLoS ONE."

Story continues below…

The Local/mbw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:33 September 6, 2012 by charlenej
In other news, professional baseball players are better at throwing baseballs than people who don't play baseball. And professional football players are better at football than people who don't play football.

Who paid for this study? Captain Obvious?
11:04 September 6, 2012 by wood artist
I've personally met several "bosses" whose brains didn't work at all. I suspect I'm not alone in that observation. Perhaps the real difference isn't that we use different neural networks but that we consider different things in reaching a decision. The "boss" might just look at the bottom line, while others might consider the "people" implications of the question. Personally I prefer the latter approach.

16:59 October 3, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
The results showed that the managers activated an area of the brain which suggested they made quick decisions based on experience

Seems to point out to me that managers don't think so much. Unless of course it comes to awarding themselves payrises and large bonuses. They seem to have the ability to give that a lot of thought.
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