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What is intuition?

Pearson and his colleagues wanted to take a more rigorous look at this hard-to-pin-down phenomenon. To begin with, they agreed that there are two qualities present in any instance of intuition: It has to involve a piece of information that you’re not exactly conscious of, and it has to have an emotional element.

The unconscious part is obvious, but what about the emotional part? If you think about it, most of the time when we have hunches, there’s an emotion associated with it. You enter a room and something just doesn’t feel right (fear, anxiety); or you get a bad vibe after just a few minutes of being in a new restaurant (disgust, discomfort); or you somehow know you’re going to hit it off with your new co-worker (excitement, anticipation).

Now that Pearson and his team had a working definition for intuition, the next step was to measure it. So they did what any of us would do: They set about trying to generate flickers of intuition in the brains of a dozen or so college students. (1)

Some people might argue that if intuition is proved to be based on things we know, then it will lose its “magic”.

I would say that if such a thing is proved, then the magic gets even more interesting: We seem to have intuitions about everything, from the existence of humans to the meaning of the world. If this intuition is based on something we already “know” then the first and more important question would be “Where do we know these things from?”…

I have an intuition that intuition is not intuition at all…

I have an intuition that the cosmos we see is not the cosmos we see at all…

I don’t know how I know it.

I just do…