Intuition

ajna

The term intuition is used to describe ‘thoughts and preferences that come to mind quickly and without much reflection.’ “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, as well as a topic of interest in the supernatural. The ‘right brain’ is popularly associated with intuitive processes such as artistic abilities.

Some scientists have contended that intuition is associated with innovation in scientific discovery. Intuition is also a common subject of New Age writings. In Carl Jung’s theory of the ego 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.’ Bringing forth ideas, images, possibilities, ways out of a blocked situation, by a process that is mostly unconscious.

Jung said that an ‘intuitive type,’ acted not on the basis of rational judgment but on sheer intensity of perception. An extroverted 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, 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 extroverted 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.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (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. Tabulations of MBTI results showed that about one fourth of the United States population favor intuition. Such people are highly overrepresented in some careers: for example, about 60% of college professors, and two thirds of psychological counselors, favor intuition. In more-recent psychology, intuition can encompass the ability to know valid solutions to problems and decision making. For example, the recognition primed decision (RPD) model explains how people can make relatively fast decisions without having to compare options. Gary 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 action.

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. Intuition is also commonly discussed in writings of spiritual thought. Contextually, there is often an idea of a transcendent mind. 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.

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’ 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, they can lead to sudden assumptions about one’s surroundings, such as the feeling of being watched or followed. 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.