.Intuition is the ability to understand acts and surroundings instinctively, without any conscious logical reasoning. It is also known as ‘gut feeling.’ Intuition is mostly associated with decision-making.

Some interesting intuition facts

The word ‘Intuition’ originated from the Latin verb ‘intueri,’ which translates as ‘consider’ or ‘contemplate.’ 

Philosopher Immanuel Kant says ‘Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.’ he explains that intuition is a cognitive talent that might be called perception.

According to Kant, intuition refers to a mental form (thoughts, memory) that perceives external phenomena (time and space). 

Even Albert Einstein stated that “All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge.” 

Great philosophers and scientists have stated that they have trusted and followed their gut feeling. The history of intuition runs back to the time of great philosophers. Since Plato, intuition is considered to be a way of communicating with deep oneself, paving for contemporary psychology and philosophy. 

However, scientists experience trouble in finding quantifiable evidence that intuition exists. Intuitive experience and behavior were analyzed and studied with theoretical and empirical research.

The scientific facts about intuition have been difficult for scientists to study and gather quantifiable evidence supporting the statement ‘intuition exists.’

Daniel Kahneman research

Daniel Kahneman, a Noble prize winner in economics has proposed we humans have two different thought systems based on his research work on ‘Human judgment and decision-making.’ 

System 1: fast and intuitive

System 2: slower and relies on reasoning

He considers System 1 to be more prone to errors. ‘The fast and intuitive’ increase the chance of recognizing serious threats and important opportunities. In the case of System 2, a slower thought system based on analytical and logical thinking is less susceptible to take any bad decisions.

In the 1980s, Kahneman, along with his colleague Amos Tversky, conducted research on intuition psychology and decision-making by providing a hypothetical public health-related question to different volunteers. They framed various possible sets of solutions for the volunteers. The volunteers were given a situation to imagine that the US needs to prepare itself for an unusual disease that was expected to kill 600 people and programs for fighting against it had been proposed. 

First group

Here the options will be in terms of gains, how the majority can be safe?

If they choose program A, 200 will be safe.

If they choose program B, ⅓ probability that all 600 will be safe,

And ⅔ probability that no people may be safe.

The majority of volunteers went with the first option, A.

Second group

For the second group of volunteers, the choices were in terms of loss, how many people would die?

If they choose program C, 400 will die.

If they choose program D, ⅓ probability nobody will die, and ⅔ probability that 600 will die.

Most of the Volunteers chose program D in the second group. 

Despite choosing the same options, the volunteers’ intuitions went with the option which portrays gain. The way of projection only differs. Intuition is manipulative at times based on the projection of the situation resulting in the Framing Effect.

Psychologists view

A team of psychological scientists from the ‘University of South Wales’ namely, Galang Lufityanto, Chris Donkin, and Joel Pearson recently published their findings in ‘Psychological Science’ regarding intuition psychology.

Many people use the phrase ‘intuition’ to describe a sensation or feeling they have when making decisions. However, these are only descriptions and they don’t provide strong evidence that we can use unconscious information in our brain or body to guide our behavior. Pearson explains intuition psychology, “These data suggest that we can use unconscious information in our body or brain to help guide us through life, to enable better decisions, faster decisions, and be more confident in the decisions we make.”

Types of intuition psychology

Author Michelle breaks down intuition into four parts in her book ‘Intuitively You, Evolve Your Life and Mend the World,’ as follows,

  • Clairvoyance. The Intuitive Act of Clear Seeing
  • Clairaudience. The Intuitive Act of Clear Hearing
  • Clairsentience. The Intuitive Act of Clear Sensing
  • Claircognizance. The Intuitive Act of Clear Knowing

Intuition is going along with the gut feeling without any reflective thinking. Trusting your intuition takes a lot of courage in making important decisions. Most importantly take experts’ advice and do logical research for any important decision.