Intuition (knowledge)
Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference
Inference is the act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true. The conclusion drawn is also called an idiomatic. The laws of valid inference are studied in the field of logic.Human inference Inference is the act or process of deriving logical conclusions...

 or the use of reason
Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

. "The word 'intuition' comes from the Latin word 'intueri', which is often roughly translated as meaning 'to look inside'’ or 'to contemplate'." Intuition provides us with beliefs that we cannot necessarily justify. For this reason, it has been the subject of study in psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, as well as a topic of interest in the supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

. The "right brain
Lateralization of brain function
A longitudinal fissure separates the human brain into two distinct cerebral hemispheres, connected by the corpus callosum. The sides resemble each other and each hemisphere's structure is generally mirrored by the other side. Yet despite the strong anatomical similarities, the functions of each...

" is popularly associated with intuitive processes such as aesthetic abilities. Some scientists have contended that intuition is associated with innovation in scientific discovery. Intuition is also a common subject of New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...


Intuition in Jungian psychology

In Carl Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

's theory of the ego, described in 1921 in Psychological Types
Psychological Types
Psychological Types is the title of the sixth volume in the Princeton / Bollingen edition of the Collected Works of Carl Jung. The original German language edition, "Psychologische Typen", was first published by Rascher Verlag, Zurich in 1921....

, intuition was an "irrational function", opposed most directly by sensation, and opposed less strongly by the "rational functions" of thinking and feeling. Jung defined intuition as "perception via the unconscious": using sense-perception only as a starting point, to bring forth ideas, images, possibilities, ways out of a blocked situation, by a process that is mostly unconscious.

Jung said that a person in whom intuition was dominant, an "intuitive type", acted not on the basis of rational judgment but on sheer intensity of perception. An extraverted intuitive type, "the natural champion of all minorities with a future", orients to new and promising but unproven possibilities, often leaving to chase after a new possibility before old ventures have borne fruit, oblivious to his or her own welfare in the constant pursuit of change. An introverted intuitive type orients by images from the unconscious, ever exploring the psychic world of the archetypes
Jungian archetypes
Carl Jung created the archetypes which “are ancient or archaic images that derive from the collective unconscious” Also known as innate universal psychic dispositions that form the substrate from which the basic symbols or representations of unconscious experience emerge...

, seeking to perceive the meaning of events, but often having no interest in playing a role in those events and not seeing any connection between the contents of the psychic world and him- or herself. Jung thought that extraverted intuitive types were likely entrepreneurs, speculators, cultural revolutionaries, often undone by a desire to escape every situation before it becomes settled and constraining—even repeatedly leaving lovers for the sake of new romantic possibilities. His introverted intuitive types were likely mystics, prophets, or cranks, struggling with a tension between protecting their visions from influence by others and making their ideas comprehensible and reasonably persuasive to others—a necessity for those visions to bear real fruit.

It has been asserted that Jung's analytical psychological
Analytical psychology
Analytical psychology is the school of psychology originating from the ideas of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. His theoretical orientation has been advanced by his students and other thinkers who followed in his tradition. Though they share similarities, analytical psychology is distinct from...

 theory of synchronicity
Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance and that are observed to occur together in a meaningful manner...

 is equal to intellectual intuition.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions...

 (MBTI), first published in 1944, attempted to provide an empirical method of identifying a person's dominant ego function, in terms of Carl Jung's theory. Beginning in the 1960s, scientists performed studies to see if MBTI results were consistent with the assumed theory that Jungian functions exist and conflict in such a way that one of them must be dominant and the others suppressed. Every study has found that instead of people's MBTI scores clustering around two opposite poles, such as intuition vs. sensation, with few people scoring in the middle, people's scores actually cluster around the middle of each scale in a bell curve. This suggests that the Jungian polarities do not exist. Most contemporary psychological research rejects the existence of Jungian functions and the MBTI's ability to tell which function is dominant.

Intuition in other psychological theories

In more-recent psychology, intuition can encompass the ability to know valid solutions to problems and decision making
Decision making
Decision making can be regarded as the mental processes resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternative scenarios. Every decision making process produces a final choice. The output can be an action or an opinion of choice.- Overview :Human performance in decision terms...

. For example, the recognition primed decision
Recognition primed decision
Recognition-primed decision is a model of how people make quick, effective decisions when faced with complex situations. In this model, the decision maker is assumed to generate a possible course of action, compare it to the constraints imposed by the situation, and select the first course of...

 (RPD) model explains how people can make relatively fast decisions without having to compare options. Gary Klein
Gary A. Klein
Gary Klein is a research psychologist famous for pioneering in the field of naturalistic decision making. By studying experts such as firefighters in their natural environment, he discovered that laboratory models of decision making could not describe it under uncertainty...

 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
Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Aristotle , though analysis as a formal concept is a relatively recent development.The word is...

 is the mental simulation, a conscious and deliberate review of the courses of action.

According to the renowned neuropsychologist and neurobiologist Roger Wolcott Sperry
Roger Wolcott Sperry
Roger Wolcott Sperry was a neuropsychologist, neurobiologist and Nobel laureate who, together with David Hunter Hubel and Torsten Nils Wiesel, won the 1981 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work with split-brain research....

 though, intuition is a right-brain activity while factual and mathematical analysis is a left-brain activity.

The reliability of one's intuition depends greatly on past knowledge and occurrences in a specific area. For example, someone who has had more experiences with children will tend to have a better instinct or intuition about what they should do in certain situations with them. This is not to say that one with a great amount of experience is always going to have an accurate intuition (because some can be biased); however, the chances of it being more reliable are definitely amplified.

Intuition and spirituality

Intuition is commonly discussed in writings of spiritual thought. Contextually, there is often an idea of a transcendent
Transcendence (religion)
In religion transcendence refers to the aspect of God's nature which is wholly independent of the physical universe. This is contrasted with immanence where God is fully present in the physical world and thus accessible to creatures in various ways...

 and more qualitative mind of one's spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

 towards which a person strives, or towards which consciousness
Higher consciousness
Higher consciousness, also called super consciousness , objective consciousness , Buddhic consciousness , cosmic consciousness, God-consciousness and Christ consciousness , are expressions used in various spiritual traditions to denote the consciousness of a human being who has reached a...

 evolves. Typically, intuition is regarded as a conscious commonality between earthly knowledge and the higher spiritual knowledge and appears as flashes of illumination. It is asserted that by definition intuition cannot be judged by logical reasoning.

Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. was a 20th century Anglo-American Catholic writer and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion...

 discussed variations of intuition in a series of essays. In describing aesthetic intuition he asserted that the artist has a subjective identification with an object that is both heightened and intensified and thereby "sees" the object's spiritual reality. In discussing Zen meditation he asserted that a direct intuition is derived through a "struggle against conceptual knowledge." An end result is "the existent knows existence, or 'isness,' while completely losing sight of itself as a 'knowing subject.

Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. He gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher...

 postulated that intuition is the third of three stages of higher knowledge, coming after imagination and inspiration, and is characterized by a state of immediate and complete experience of, or even union with, the object of knowledge without loss of the subject's individual ego.

The high value of intuition in the Sufi schemata is related by El Sayeed Idries Shah
Idries Shah
Idries Shah , also known as Idris Shah, né Sayed Idries el-Hashimi , was an author and teacher in the Sufi tradition who wrote over three dozen critically acclaimed books on topics ranging from psychology and spirituality to travelogues and culture studies.Born in India, the descendant of a...

 el-Hashimi el-Naqshbandi, Grand Sheikh of the Dervish
A Dervish or Darvesh is someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or "Tariqah", known for their extreme poverty and austerity, similar to mendicant friars in Christianity or Hindu/Buddhist/Jain sadhus.-Etymology:The Persian word darvīsh is of ancient origin and descends from a Proto-Iranian...


Empathic accuracy

Empathic accuracy is a term in psychology that refers to how accurately one person (usually designated the perceiver) can infer the thoughts and feelings of another person (usually designated the target). It was first introduced in conjunction with a new research method by psychologists William Ickes
William Ickes
William Ickes is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is a personality and social psychologist who is known primarily for his research on unstructured dyadic interaction. His first major line of research within this tradition...

 and William Tooke in 1988. It is similar to the term accurate empathy, which psychologist Carl Rogers
Carl Rogers
Carl Ransom Rogers was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology...

 had previously introduced in 1957. Empathic accuracy is an important aspect of what William Ickes has called "everyday mind reading."

Contrary to popular understanding women do not seem to possess empathic abilities that men do not have. However research by William Ickes has shown that women are susceptible to stereotypes, and try harder in situations where they would expect to do better. In situations where they are unaware that this is expected, no improved performance is found.

Studies and claims

Dismissing the notion that intuitive impulses arise supernaturally, one is left to assume they originate with the five innate human senses. Remnants of perception, such as a movement occurring out of the "corner of your eye
Peripheral vision
Peripheral vision is a part of vision that occurs outside the very center of gaze. There is a broad set of non-central points in the field of view that is included in the notion of peripheral vision...

" or subtle sound that would normally be ignored as background noise, could occur simultaneously. While these events could be filtered as irrelevant by the mind, their coincidental synchronicity could lead to a sudden assumptions about one's surroundings, such as the feeling of being watched or followed.

Intuitive abilities were quantitatively tested at Yale University in the 1970s. While studying nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages. Messages can be communicated through gestures and touch , by body language or posture, by facial expression and eye contact...

, researchers noted that some subjects were able to read nonverbal facial cues before reinforcement occurred. 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.

Law enforcement officers often claim to observe suspects and immediately "know" that they possess a weapon or illicit narcotic substances. 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. Such examples liken intuition to "gut feelings" and when viable illustrate preconscious
In Freudian psychoanalysis, the word preconscious is applied to thoughts which are unconscious at the particular moment in question, but which are not repressed and are therefore available for recall and easily capable of becoming conscious....


Various definitions

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

Intuition (is) perception via the unconscious

– Carl Gustav Jung

INTUITION may be defined as understanding or knowing without conscious recourse to thought, observation or reason. Some see this unmediated process as somehow mystical while others describe intuition as being a response to unconscious cues or implicitly apprehended prior learning.

– Dr. Jason Gallate & Ms Shannan Keen BA


Intuition Peak
Intuition Peak
Intuition Peak is a sharp Antarctic peak of elevation 780 m in Levski Ridge, Tangra Mountains on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. It is surmounting Iskar Glacier to the east and Devnya Valley to the west...

 on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
The South Shetland Islands are a group of Antarctic islands, lying about north of the Antarctic Peninsula, with a total area of . By the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, the Islands' sovereignty is neither recognized nor disputed by the signatories and they are free for use by any signatory for...

, Antarctica is named in appreciation of the role of scientific intuition for the advancement of human knowledge.
When Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
Steven Paul Jobs was an American businessman and inventor widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc...

 returned from India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 he said, “The main thing I’ve learned is intuition".

Further reading

  • Chopra, Deepak
    Deepak Chopra
    Deepak Chopra is an Indian medical doctor, public speaker, and writer on subjects such as spirituality, Ayurveda and mind-body medicine. Chopra began his career as an endocrinologist and later shifted his focus to alternative medicine. Chopra now runs his own medical center, with a focus on...

    , and Judith Orloff
    Judith Orloff
    Judith Orloff, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist who incorporates psychic intuition and energy medicine into her practice. She also claims to consult with police departments using her psychic abilities. Dr...

    . The Power of Intuition. Hay House, 2005. (Audio) ISBN 978-1401906221
  • Davis, Elizabeth. Women's Intuition. Celestial Arts, 1989. ISBN 978-0890875728
  • Mayer, Elizabeth Lloyd. Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind. Bantam, 2008. ISBN 978-0553382235
  • McTaggart, Lynn. The Intention Experiment. Free Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0743276962
  • Schulz, Mona Lisa, and Christriane Northrup. Awakening Intuition. Three Rivers Press, 1999. ISBN 978-0-609-80424-7
  • Sheldrake, Rupert
    Rupert Sheldrake
    Rupert Sheldrake is an English scientist. He is known for having proposed an unorthodox account of morphogenesis and for his research into parapsychology. His books and papers stem from his theory of morphic resonance, and cover topics such as animal and plant development and behaviour, memory,...

    . Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals. Three Rivers Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0609805336
  • Sheldrake, Rupert
    Rupert Sheldrake
    Rupert Sheldrake is an English scientist. He is known for having proposed an unorthodox account of morphogenesis and for his research into parapsychology. His books and papers stem from his theory of morphic resonance, and cover topics such as animal and plant development and behaviour, memory,...

    . The Sense of Being Stared At: And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind. Crown, 2003. ISBN 978-0609608074
  • Sheldrake, Rupert
    Rupert Sheldrake
    Rupert Sheldrake is an English scientist. He is known for having proposed an unorthodox account of morphogenesis and for his research into parapsychology. His books and papers stem from his theory of morphic resonance, and cover topics such as animal and plant development and behaviour, memory,...

    . Seven Experiments That Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science. Park Street Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0892819898
  • Wilde, Stuart
    Stuart Wilde
    Stuart WildeBackground informationBornSeptember 24, 1946 Farnham, EnglandNationalityBritishOccupationWriter, lecturer, essayist, humorist, scriptwriter, lyricist, music producerWriting period1983–presentSubject...

     Intuition. Hay House, 1996. (Audio) ISBN 978-1401906740
  • Wilde, Stuart
    Stuart Wilde
    Stuart WildeBackground informationBornSeptember 24, 1946 Farnham, EnglandNationalityBritishOccupationWriter, lecturer, essayist, humorist, scriptwriter, lyricist, music producerWriting period1983–presentSubject...

    . The Sixth Sense: Including the Secrets of the Etheric Subtle Body. Hay House, 2000. ISBN 978-1561705016
  • Levin, Michal
    Michal Levin
    Michal Levin is a writer, spiritual teacher, and pioneer of her own independently developed LEAP Meditation, that she also describes as a chakra meditation. Since 1991 she has been involved with teaching about subtle Energy and how working with it can, as she claims, transform both the individual...

    . Spiritual Intelligence: Awakening the Power of Your Spirituality and Intuition. Hodder & Stoughton, 2000. ISBN 978-0340733943
  • Doc Childre and Howard Martin. The HEARTMATH Solution. HarperSanFrancisco, 1999. ISBN 978-0062516060
  • Hoeflich, Christine. What Everyone Believed: A Memoir of Intuition and Awakening. Between Worlds Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-0979658907

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.