Intuition's Powers and Perils

Psychological Inquiry (Impact Factor: 6.65). 10/2010; 21(4):371-377. DOI: 10.1080/1047840X.2010.524469


One of the biggest revelations of recent psychological science is the two-track human mind, which features not only a deliberate, self-aware “high road” but also a vast, automatic, intuitive “low road.” Through experience, we learn associations that provide fast and frugal intuitions that enable instantaneous social judgments and the pattern recognition that marks acquired expertise. But as studies of implicit prejudice and intuitive fears illustrate, unchecked gut feelings can also lead us astray. Intuition's powers and perils appear in various realms, from sports to business to clinical and interviewer judgments.

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    • "The two processes differ based on the amount of cognitive effort involved in making decisions (Hogarth, 2001; Hogarth, 2010). Decisions requiring high cognitive effort can be described as deliberate and conscious, whereas decisions requiring low cognitive effort can be described as automatic and unconscious (Meyers, 2002). The latter process, which exists outside awareness, is referred to as intuition (Hogarth, 2005) or ''gut feel'' (Sadler-Smith & Shefy, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Using the critical incident technique, we investigated how 88 loan officers at four Swedish banks perceived their decision making in evaluations of commercial loan applications. First, we found that our sample of loan officers primarily used deliberation and less intuition when making decisions. Second, that the loan officers had greater difficulty in making decisions that involved soft information (e.g., client relationships) than decisions that involved hard information (e.g., financial information). Third, most decision making situations involved existing rather than new clients and low rather than high risk levels. Finally, we found a potential effect of organizational factors such as lending practices on lending decisions. Our findings have general implications for research on decision making processes. For the banking industry, this research identifies and elucidates the difficulties loan officers face in decision making of commercial loans.
    European Management Journal 04/2014; 32(2):362–372. DOI:10.1016/j.emj.2013.03.003 · 1.22 Impact Factor
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    • "Current thinking on both advertising processing and consumer behavior is being revolutionized by psychological research which reveals that there are two distinct brain systems at work in human information processing and decision making (cf. Evans & Over 1996; Fine 2006; Gigerenzer 2000, 2007; Gigerenzer, Todd & The ABC Research Group 1999; LeDoux 1998; Montagu 2006; Myers 2002; Reber 1993; Stanovich 1999, 2004; for a good overview, see Frankish & Evans 2009). On the one hand, System 1 (S1) can be characterized as being evolutionarily old, unconscious/preconscious, automatic, fast, and intuitive. "
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    ABSTRACT: Current thinking on advertising processing highly parallels contemporary psychological theory and research revealing that there are two distinct brain systems at work in human information processing and decision making: System 1 (S1, evolutionarily old, unconscious/preconscious, automatic, fast, and intuitive) and System 2 (S2, evolutionarily recent, conscious, controlled, slow, and reflective). Indeed, state-of-the-art models of advertising processing equally distinguish two different persuasive routes: one in which the consumer focuses on product/brand attribute information and in which he/she engages in elaborated information processing (S2), and one in which she/he processes the ad only superficially in terms of a handful of meaningful “cues” (S1). Regarding S2 advertising processing, means-end-chain theory offers a sound theoretical framework. However, regarding S1 advertising processing the question remains: What constitutes a meaningful cue? Here, I will argue that both the idea of evolutionary old systems like the S1 systems (evolved “mental organs”) and the idea of cues activating them (“fitness cues”) are central to evolutionary psychology. I will also present the results of a large scale experiment investigating the impact these cues can have on ad-likeability scores (as indicators of the advertising effectiveness). This experiment equally reveals the value of evolutionary psychology as a sound perspective for cue management practices. KeywordsEvolutionary psychology-Fitness cues-Advertising management-Cue management cue management-Ad-likeability-Advertising advertising processing-Advertising effectiveness advertising processing
    07/2011: pages 257-287;
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    • "" Included among the latter are statements that " intuition is just lazy thinking " and " intuition is the use of fallible heuristic strategies. " Most authors (e.g., Chen & Chaiken, 1999; Hogarth, 2001; Myers, 2002; Nisbett & Ross, 1980; Petty & Wegener, 1999; Kahneman, Slovic, & Tversky, 1982) acknowledge that intuition has important positive features, such as being rapid and effortless, but, on balance consider it to be often inaccurate and inferior to analytical reasoning. However, as will be seen later, there are a variety of desirable attributes not "
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    ABSTRACT: Definitions of intuition are discussed and two working definitions are proposed. This is followed by a list of eight unresolved problems concerning intuition. It is suggested that all of these problems can be resolved by cognitive-experiential self-theory (CEST), a dual-process theory of personality according to which people process information with two systems, an experiential/intuitive system that is an associative learning system that humans share with other animals and a uniquely human verbal reasoning system. Intuition is considered to be a subsystem of the experiential/ intuitive system that operates by exactly the same principles and attributes but has narrower boundary conditions. The next section includes a presentation of the most relevant aspects of CEST with an emphasis on the operating rules and attributes of the experiential/intuitive system. This is followed by demonstrating how the operation of the experiential/intuitive system can resolve each of the unresolved problems concerning intuition. The article closes with a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the experiential/intuitive and rational/analytic systems. It is concluded that neither system is generally superior to the other, as each has important advantages and disadvantages.
    Psychological Inquiry 10/2010; 21(4-4):295-312. DOI:10.1080/1047840X.2010.523875 · 6.65 Impact Factor
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