According to Gerd Gigerenzer, when we talk about the meaning of ‘intuition’, we should not emphasise on the fact that it is about knowing the right answer suddenly; rather, we should focus on the fact that intuition is understanding with instinct, which information is not significant and thereby can be rejected.
Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany, Gerd Gigerenzer has been working on this for quite a long time.
The famous book, Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious has been authored by him where he talks about intuition and places himself as both intuitive and rational. He cites example from his professional and personal life.
Gerd Gigerenzer, in one of his interviews, said that when he is doing any scientific work, intuitions come to him. He has no reasons for this.
He cannot give an explanation regarding the reason why he felt in that particular way, why he trusted in a particular path and why he felt that he should follow it. But there was something in him, which drove him into following that particular thing.
According to Gigerenzer, he can actually calculate and check whether these intuitions are right or not. In case of dealing with his personal life, all he can do is rely on his instinct. He could never afford to calculate when he met his wife for the first time. He received the same vibe from the opposite direction.
Okay. So why am I talking about theories and books and researches on intuition? Well, the thing is we do think about these things all consciously or subconsciously.
The other day, I met a friend, Zelda Burt over a cup of coffee and we were discussing about our daily lives and tons of things. It was when I told her that I am looking for a topic for my article, Zelda asked, ‘Have you ever thought of writing on intuition? Didn’t it ever occur to you that someone who has great intuition in things has more intelligence than others who don’t have? Haven’t you ever felt that intuition too is a form of intelligence? Why don’t you work on it?’
Zelda and I have been friends since my college days and to be honest, we had bonded over our mutual love for knowledge; we have learnt a lot from each other and like me, she too has intellectual curiosity. Upon hearing her question, my ‘gut feeling’ forced me to say, ‘yes.’ She is actually right.
Okay. Let’s not make things complicated. I will give you a simpler example.
Imagine a situation when a few of us are sitting on a chair. What we need to do is then, trust our intuition. Here, we are not exercising our intelligence much. Now, imagine another situation. We are researching on a particular thing and a large number of possibilities crop up. The question arises: what to choose and what not to? Here, we will be exercising our intelligence and it is our gut instinct which will guide us and make us understand the significances of the possibilities. Based on that, we will be choosing the options.
In certain aspects, one can think of intuition as a clear understanding of what researchers call, ‘collective intelligence.’
Let me give you an example. The organization of websites is done in an intuitive way. They offer easier ways to navigate and access information. However, this didn’t happen all of a sudden. Years of problems paved way for the development of a common wisdom and slowly the essential elements could be separated from the additional information. A common example is the ‘About Us’ section of a website which contains the basic details of the site. The other tabs give the additional information.
It’s an accepted fact that if you do your research more, your intuition will work better.
Think about astronomers like Kepler and Galileo. They worked for years and without any visual evidence, they could state certain facts about our universe. They studied throughout their life, they researched and then they could come up with their statements through their intuitions. The society disbelieved them but they fought for their findings.
Even the great scientist Albert Einstein believed in intuition and considered it as a gift.
In today’s world, a lot of corporate people think that intuition is stupidity, that it’s a foolish thing to go by our intuitions. However, it is not so and scientists have proved that. A rational mind and intuitive mind is what we need to develop ourselves, to gift the society amazing creations and to discover our universe.
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