Intuition: A Challenge for Psychological Research on Decision Making

Psychological Inquiry (Impact Factor: 4.73). 10/2010; 21:338-353. DOI: 10.1080/1047840X.2010.520260

ABSTRACT Intuition represents an enormous challenge for research on decision making. What is intuition? How does it modify our appreciation of cognitive abilities? When should people trust intuition? These questions set the agenda for this article, which (a) defines intuition, (b) comments on how intuition has been viewed across time in the decision making literature, (c) stresses the need to specify different types of intuition, (d) discusses when intuition is likely to lead to good decisions, and (e) presents four challenges. These are, first, elucidating the evolution of preferences; second, illuminating culturally acquired values such as morals; third, the need to educate intuitive responses; and fourth, problems in using intuition for decision making in a changing world. However, the major challenge facing intuition research is the need for conceptual work to define the nature and scope of different intuitive phenomena. To be useful, the concept should not become too broad.

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