Intuition (knowledge)

Intuition (knowledge)

Intuition is apparent ability to acquire knowledge without a clear inference or the use of reason.

It is "the immediate apprehension of an object by the mind without the intervention of any reasoning process" [Oxford English Dictionary]

Intuition provides us with beliefs which we cannot necessarily justify. For this reason, it has been the subject of study in psychology, as well as a topic of interest in the supernatural.


Law enforcement officers often claim to observe suspects and immediately "know" that they possess a weapon or illicit narcotic substances. On such occasions, these officers are unable to articulate their accurate reactions that may represent building blocks to reasonable suspicion or probable cause indicators. Often unable to articulate why they reacted or what prompted them at the time of the event, they sometimes retrospectively can plot their actions based upon what had been clear and present danger signals. [ [ Emotional/rational decision making in law enforcement. - Free Online Library ] ] Intuitive abilities were quantitatively tested at Yale University in the 1970's. While studying nonverbal communication, researchers noted that some subjects were able to read nonverbal facial cues before reinforcement occurred. [ AJ Giannini, J Daood,MC Giannini, R Boniface, PG Rhodes. Intellect versus intuition--dichotomy in the reception of nonverbal communication.Journal of General Psychology. 99:19-24,1978] In employing a similar design, they noted that highly intuitive subjects made decisions quickly but could not identify their rationale. Their level of accuracy, however, did not differ from that of nonintuitive subjects. [ AJ Giannini, ME Barringer, MC Giannini, RH Loiselle. Lack of relationship between handedness and intuitive and intellectual (rationalistic) modes of information processing. Journal of General Psychology. 111:31-37 1984 ] .


“Intuition is a combination of historical (empirical) data, deep and heightened observation and an ability to cut through the thickness of surface reality. Intuition is like a slow motion machine that captures data instantaneously and hits you like a ton of bricks. Intuition is a knowing, a sensing that is beyond the conscious understanding — a gut feeling. Intuition is not pseudo-science.” Abella Arthur

In personality assessment

Intuition is one of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung's four 'psychological types' or ego functions. In this early model of the personal psyche, intuition was opposed by sensation on one axis, while feeling was opposed by thinking on another axis. Jung argued that, in a given individual, one of these four functions was primary — most prominent or developed — in the consciousness. The opposing function would typically be underdeveloped in that individual. The remaining pair (on the other axis) would be consciously active, but to a lesser extent than the primary function. [C.G. Jung. "Psychological Types". Bollingen Series XX, Volume 6, Princeton University Press, 1971.] This schema is perhaps most familiar today as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

In psychology, intuition can encompass the ability to know valid solutions to problems and decision making. For example, the recognition primed decision (RPD) model was described by Gary Klein in order to explain how people can make relatively fast decisions without having to compare options. Klein found that under time pressure, high stakes, and changing parameters, experts used their base of experience to identify similar situations and intuitively choose feasible solutions. Thus, the RPD model is a blend of intuition and analysis. The intuition is the pattern-matching process that quickly suggests feasible courses of action. The analysis is the mental simulation, a conscious and deliberate review of the courses of actionFact|date=April 2007.

An important intuitive method for identifying options is brainstormingFact|date=April 2007. According to the renowned Neuropsychologist and Neurobiologist Roger Wolcott Sperry though, Intuition is a right-brain activity while Factual and Mathematical analysis is a left-brain activity. [ [] .]


Intuition Peak on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named in appreciation of the role of scientific intuition for the advancement of human knowledge.

ee also

* Casuistry
* Extra-sensory perception
* Intuition pump, a term coined by Daniel Dennett
* Intuitionism
* Medical intuitive
* Preconscious
* Subconscious
* Tacit knowledge
* List of thought processes
* Unconscious mind
* Gettier examples
* Truthiness

Notes and references

External links

* [ A selection of articles defining the nature of Intuition]
* [ Essay about the philosophical and psychological dimensions of four types of intuition]
* [ A scientific research group on intuition]
* [ Ask Philosophers: Question on Intuition and Rationality]
* [ Hypothesis: Improving Left brain Intuition/Innovation]
* [ Intuition as a 'feeling']

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Intuition (philosophy) — Intuition is the act by which the mind perceives the agreement or disagreement of two ideas. When using only intuition, the truth of the proposition is immediately known right then, the moment it is presented. [ AJ Giannini, J Daood,MC Giannini,… …   Wikipedia

  • Intuition — has many related meanings, usually connected to the meaning ability to sense or know immediately without reasoning , and is often regarded as a divine or prophetic power, including:* Intuition is the philosophical method of Henri Bergson. *… …   Wikipedia

  • Intuition — • A psychological and philosophical term which designates the process of immediate apprehension or perception of an actual fact, being, or relation between two terms and its results Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Intuition      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Intuition (Bergson) — Intuition is the philosophical method of French philosopher Henri Bergson.In An Introduction to Metaphysics , Bergson introduces two ways in which an object can be known: absolutely and relatively. Pertaining to each mode of knowledge is a method …   Wikipedia

  • Intuition — In tu*i tion, n. [L. intuitus, p. p. of intueri to look on; in in, on + tueri: cf. F. intuition. See {Tuition}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A looking after; a regard to. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] What, no reflection on a reward! He might have an intuition at… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intuition — intuition, instinct The two words overlap in meaning, and the OED indeed uses intuition in one of its definitions of instinct. Both refer to intellectual activity and both denote processes in which knowledge is apprehended without using any… …   Modern English usage

  • Knowledge — • Knowledge, being a primitive fact of consciousness, cannot, strictly speaking, be defined; but the direct and spontaneous consciousness of knowing may be made clearer by pointing out its essential and distinctive characteristics Catholic… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Knowledge entrepreneurship — describes the ability to recognize or create an opportunity and take action aimed at realizing the innovative knowledge practice or product. Knowledge entrepreneurship is different from ‘traditional’ economic entrepreneurship in that it does not… …   Wikipedia

  • Knowledge — is defined (Oxford English Dictionary) variously as (i) expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject, (ii) what is known in a particular field or in total;… …   Wikipedia

  • intuition — [n] insight clairvoyance, discernment, divination, ESP*, feeling*, foreknowledge, gut reaction*, hunch*, innate knowledge, inspiration, instinct, intuitiveness, nose*, penetration, perception, perceptivity, premonition, presentiment, second… …   New thesaurus

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