Intuition: A Challenge for Psychological Research on Decision Making

Psychological Inquiry (Impact Factor: 4.73). 10/2010; 21(4):338-353. DOI: 10.1080/1047840X.2010.520260


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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    • "For Assagioli (1982; 2007; 2012) such intuitions enter consciousness via levels of personal and/or collective unconscious. In all cases, a subsequent simultaneous consideration of many phenomena at a post-rational level of vision logic may be required (Hogarth, 2010; Topolinski, 2012; Wilber 2000), where decision making insights and options are necessary in order to identify the origin, clarify the message and make appropriate therapeutic decisions. "
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    ABSTRACT: In order to redress imbalances in South African psychological service provision, honor indigenous, transpersonal, community based perspectives, and introduce fresh insights and direction, this article presents an integral approach to psychology in South Africa. Areas highlighted for future research and praxis include integral and transpersonal psychology; spirituality; consciousness; especially moral consciousness, ancestral consciousness and reverence; indigenous knowledge systems, particularly indigenous healing; harmonisation of old and new, African, Eastern and Western forms of psychology; well-being and community development through health promotion practices and multicultural counselling.
    Journal of Psychology in Africa 01/2014; 24(6):526–532. DOI:10.1080/14330237.2014.997044
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    • "However, Haidt, Knobe (2003b) and Greene and colleagues have demonstrated that moral judgments are ubiquitous across many cultures and societies. Haidt (2001) and Hogarth (2010) point out though that these regularities are products of intuition, indicating the pervasive enigma that we have in making these very serious high-stakes decisions. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper attempts to disentangle the difference between our own self-assessment of moral judgment and intentional judgment. Using a Knobe-effect version of the Trolley Problem in our experiment, we used reactant variables—magnitude of victims, outcome probabilities, and expected outcome of lives saved—to find points were these two forms of moral judgments diverge. Outcome probabilities provided the most salient and consistent pattern, indicating that participants used outcome probabilities as their reference point in their moral decision making. We saw that, with respect to their own self-assessed moral judgments, individuals tend to be morally optimistic when the task dilemma emphasizes the lives saved, but become morally pessimistic when the same dilemma emphasizes the killing of the one other victim. Under negative probability frames, individuals tend to overestimate their attribution on positive intentions and underestimate their attribution on negative intentions.
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    • "Among the many classifications include System 1 and System 2 (Stanovich and West, 2000), paradigmatic and narrative (Bruner, 1986), experiential and rational (Epstein, 1994), tacit and deliberate (Hogarth, 2001), and a continuum of intuitive and analytical thinking (Hammond et al., 1987). But due to the prominence of Simon's cognitive revolution and Kahneman and Tversky in the 1970s, research on affective and automatic processes had been stifled (Hogarth, 2010; Kahneman, 2003). There is now a large body of evidence supporting an affect-driven perspective in human judgment. "
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    ABSTRACT: The dominant perspective in economics and psychology has been choice as information where ex post behavioral data, i.e. utilities, satisfaction levels, are used to infer human behavior. But the increasing importance of affect—automatic, perceptive, emotional, and intuitive processes—in judgment and decision making cannot anymore be overlooked. We propose an alternative perspective where choice of information is used as behavioral data. We conducted an experiment using affect-driven choice problems under ambiguous negative task scenarios—moral dilemmas involving loved ones and risk as feeling scenarios. We offer three evidences to support our case. First, ex ante, most individuals facing risky choices attempted to confirm the threat of the task environment (confirmation bias) by asking for more information but the same individuals facing moral dilemmas avoided information (confirmation avoidance). Ex post, individuals rated high on moral dilemmas but very low in risky dilemmas. Second, response time correlations showed that individuals made fast, principled decisions, showing that affective processes were in motion in the decision process. Third, ex ante choice of information predicted more various moral, religious, and political variables than ex post preference scores.
    11/2013, Degree: Master of Science in Economics, Supervisor: Robin Miles Hogarth
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Questions & Answers about this publication

  • Han Ping Fung added an answer in Fears:
    How can we explain our intuitions? Are there any studies on intuitions?

    Are intuitions our fears, anxieties, our sixth sense.   

    Han Ping Fung

    Think intuition is the ability of mind to understand or make decision quickly / without going through certain processing / inferencing / reasoning like instinct, 6th sense etc.  Finding there are many RG discussions & articles related to intuition which include the following to share:'_Expertise_in_Children's_Epistemic_Trust

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      ABSTRACT: Several authors have hailed intuition as one of the defining features of expertise. In particular, while disagreeing on almost anything that touches on human cognition and artificial intelligence, Hubert Dreyfus and Herbert Simon agreed on this point. However, the highly influential theories of intuition they proposed differed in major ways, especially with respect to the role given to search and as to whether intuition is holistic or analytic. Both theories suffer from empirical weaknesses. In this paper, we show how, with some additions, a recent theory of expert memory (the template theory) offers a coherent and wide-ranging explanation of intuition in expert behaviour. It is shown that the theory accounts for the key features of intuition: it explains the rapid onset of intuition and its perceptual nature, provides mechanisms for learning, incorporates processes showing how perception is linked to action and emotion, and how experts capture the entirety of a situation. In doing so, the new theory addresses the issues problematic for Dreyfus’s and Simon’s theories. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
      Minds and Machines 05/2009; 19(2):151-180. DOI:10.1007/s11023-008-9131-5

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