Intuition: An integral part of our intelligence

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Elusive Intuition

Intuition seems to be one of those very complex systems that we are able to use but are unable to understand. Given our inability to understand it we have chosen to delegate it to the realm of the the ignored and unexplained phenomena.

There intuition has continued to loose its cultural value until recently. Recently psychologists and business people are beginning to gain some insight into intuition as yet another way that we think – another of our infinite number of intelligences.

Both of the following articles are worth reading in their entirety. I am placing some excerpts of them here in hopes that they will raise your level of interest.

From Psychology Today

“…it has been reduced to a myth and allowed to sink into the province of mystics and fringe groups. Nevertheless, the descent of intuition from prehistory as a means of surviving changes and predators and finding ways to deal with enemies ensures that it is still the intelligence of everyday life.”

Source: Psychology Today. See the entire article at their website >>

An article by T.P. Wong Ph.D

“…The importance of intuition has been recognized down through the ages. To Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American transcendental philosopher, “the primary wisdom is intuition”, because it represents a more direct and immediate way of knowing.

Albert Einstein said “The only real valuable thing is intuition.” As he gazed into the starry sky and wondered about the meaning of time in the cosmos, he might have had a flash of insight that led to the development of the theory of relativity.

John Nesbitt, the famous cognitive psychologist from the University of Michigan, declared that “Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data.” Given the increasing demand on our limited supply of mental energy, intuition represents a much needed form of cognitive economy.

From both evolutionary and historical perspectives, Dan Cappon, (1993) acknowledged that intuition has always been critical to human survival and success. It is a survival skill evolved from primitive survival instincts.

Frances Vaughan (1979) concluded that many “major human achievements involve intuitive leaps of imagination. It is the intuitive, holistic, pattern-perception faculties associated with the right hemisphere of the brain that break through existing formulations of truth and expand the body of knowledge. The stabilization of intuitive insights, and their usefulness to humanity, are subsequently determined by careful, logical examination and validation, but the original vision or insight is intuitive” (p.153).

…The different types of intuition

The following list is by no means comprehensive, but it represents the different phenomena that have been associated with intuition. Each type may involve different mechanisms and requires a different research method.
1. Primitive instincts of self-preservation, such as the flight-or-fight syndrome, avoidance responses, pleasure-seeking and instinctive responses to reduce primary needs, such as food, water and safety.
2. Conditioned emotional responses, which range from fear, aversion, suspicion, attraction, and attachment.
3. Bodily intuition includes messages about bodily needs and conditions. Medical intuitives such as Schulz and Northrup (1999) emphasize the need to use intuition to decode these somatic messages in order to maintain and enhance our health and well-being.
4. Mystical intuition encompasses a wide variety of subjective experiences, such as spiritual guidance, inner light, psychic intuition, fortune telling, prophetic insight, detecting energy fields, and ESP. Is this related to spiritual intelligence?
5. Interpersonal intuition refers to the ability to pick up clues about relationships. It also includes the capacity for empathy and character judgment. It is clearly related to emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1995). The proverbial women’s intuition is mainly confined to this area.
6. Practical intuition – in solving everyday problems, the capacity of anticipating the problem and finding the best solution, quickly and effortlessly. This type of intuition may be related to practical intelligence (Sternberg, 1997) and fluid intelligence (Cattell, 1987).
7. Expertise intuition is domain-specific and it is closely related to expert knowledge and critical insight. This ability of “thinking without thinking” (Gladwell, 2005) cannot be easily disentangled from special talents in any given field.”

Source: Intuition the best kept secret for survival and success. by Paul T.P. Wong PhD C.Psych. Reading the original article in its entirety is a must to comprehend this captivating concept >>


Related books

The Intuitive Mind: Profiting from the Power of Your Sixth Sense Hardcover
by Eugene Sadler-Smit
Eugene Sadler-Smith, a leading intuition researcher and educator in business and management, argues that human beings have one brain but two minds – analytical and intuitive. Management has overlooked the importance of intuition, and under-exploited the potential that the intuitive mind has to contribute in areas as diverse as decision making, creativity, team working, entrepreneurship, business ethics and leadership.



The Intuitive Compass: Why the Best Decisions Balance Reason and Instinct

A dynamic new way to understand intuition, already implemented around the world at top companies and business schoolsNeuroscience shows that instinct has a leading role in complex decision-making, yet imaginative play is the most direct means of activating our creativity and problem-solving abilities. Based on over 20 years of Cholle’s wide-ranging professional experience and insights, The Intuitive Compass offers a fascinating new approach to innovative problem-solving, decision-making, and sustainable value creation.”



The Power of Intuition: How to Use Your Gut Feelings to Make Better Decisions at Work – by Gary Klein



Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren’t as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work-in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?”



Understanding and Teaching the Intuitive Mind: Student and Teacher Learning (Educational Psychology Series) – Bruce Torff (Editor), Robert J. Sternberg (Editor)



The Intuitive Edge: Understanding Intuition and Applying It to Everyday Life. by Philip Goldberg



Awakening Intuition
“The Awakening Intuition guides the reader to the greater realization of his or her own intuitive powers through specific exercises, which are combined with an examination of the role of intuition in such processes as creativity and problem solving. A concise overview of the most recent research in this area completes the book.”



Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment – Thomas Gilovich (Editor), Dale Griffin (Editor), Daniel Kahneman (Editor)



The Intuitive Way: The Definitive Guide to Increasing Your Awareness by Penney Peirce



Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human Achievement Hardcover
by William Duggan



Intuition in Judgment and Decision Making – Henning Plessner (Editor), Cornelia Betsch (Editor), Tilmann Betsch (Editor)


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One thought on “Intuition: An integral part of our intelligence

  1. I am a biologist who has been examining intuition for a number of years now. In fact I first published the metaphor of intuition as “a blink of the eye” in a paper the Journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine in 1997. It is nice to see someone who understands how central this (until just recently) unexplored aspect of human cognition is. The next important thing is that we get below all these different kinds of intuition and start examining their common elements.

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