Can We Trust Our Intuitive Knowledge?

(In Swedish)
We are living in a world that seems to be more and more unbelievable, and people are feeling lost and wonder what is actually happening. Are human beings crazy, why are we repeating the same mistakes over and over? Think of our inability to solve conflicts without wars and violence where people are killed and the earth is destroyed.

If humankind is developing and most people believe in the evolution theory…why are we then acting as we are going backwards, while talking about progress?

When people feel something intuitively, whether is wrong or right, which they cannot say exactly what it is…they are usually reacting by escaping, or trying to get some kind of control. We are using knowledge based on our experiences and facts, but seldom talk about our intuitive knowledge which plays a very important role in the developing of science.


Eugene Sadler-Smith Centre for Management Learning and Development, School of Management, University of Surrey, UK intuition, neuroscience, decision making and learning, “Intuition is part of that ‘knowing’ ‘we know more than we can tell’ Polanyi, M. (1966). An intuition is a recognition or judgement that is: (a) arrived at rapidly, without deliberative rational thought; (b) difficult to articulate verbally; (c) based on a broad constellation of prior learning and past experiences; (d) accompanied by a feeling of confidence or certitude; (e) affectively-charged.”

“I think we acquire our capability to intuit through experiences in particular domains (intuition is not a generic ability; it is domain specific) via explicit and implicit learning processes, which result in the acquisition of highly complex and subtle patterns of tacit knowledge that cannot be described or explained easily. These mental models are stored in long term memory under a variety of sophisticated rules (often too complex for verbal exposition) for how to achieve specific goals in particular situations and which are activated by the cues that we perceive from the environment. Intuitions enable us to solve problems, take decisions, achieve insights and generate scientific discoveries and artistic creations.”

“The naturalistic decision researcher Gary Klein has estimated that in 80 and 95 percent of loosely structured time-pressured situations decision makers rely on intuiting rather than rational choice.”


“Intuition is synonymous in many languages and cultures with visceral signals often referred to as ‘gut feelings’. Neurological research has identified an awareness that operates below our level of consciousness and which may serve like a physical ‘alarm bell’. The neurologist Antonio Damasio and his colleagues have argued that unconscious processing accompanied by physiological ‘somatic markers’ force our attention on positive or negative outcomes, which manifest in our conscious awareness as a ‘gut feeling’ (they called this the ‘somatic marker hypothesis’).”

“Other research by Jung-Beeman and his colleagues using neuro-imaging techniques has identified brain regions that are implicated in those insights (the ‘aha’ or eureka moments) where we experience the pieces of a problem that has been perplexing us falling into place often after a period of unconscious ‘incubation’. Alongside this, the methods of neuroscience are also beginning to shed light upon the brain regions and processes that are involved in intuitive judgements. For example, Le Doux has discussed the role of working memory in feelings, emotion, unconscious processing and human consciousness itself.”

“The message is clear: the future can overtake us before we’ve had the chance to collect and analyse all the data which might be out there; the future can also overtake us if we hang around looking for data that does not yet exist.”

In philosophy of science, Reichenbach distinguished between the “context of discovery” and the “context of justification.” He claimed that the context of discovery is psychological and has no importance for philosophy, but the context of justification provides for a rational reconstruction of the hypothesis or law, so that an investigator’s knowledge of it increases as the justification of it moves forward. He also distinguished between conventionalism and empiricism, and opted for empiricism as the correct approach to science.

The veiled processes behind our intuitions do not count as arguments or evidence (Smith & DeCoster, 1999), which Goldberg (1983) satirically points out, “[no one every says] give me one good feeling why you think John is wrong” (p. 18). Our culture is replete with cognitive maxims like “look before you leap” and “think before you act” that suggest that one’s impulses or intuitions tend to be deeply flawed. Our educational institutions give “little attention to the development of intuitive understanding” suggesting that intuition is not highly valued as a product of education (Bruner, 1960, p. 56).



Intuition: A Social Cognitive Neuroscience Approach Matthew D. Lieberman Harvard University, Psychological Bulletin, 2000, Vol. 126, No. 1, 109-137. “In recent years, research on implicit learning has suggested that our behavior can be rule-like and adaptive without a concomitant conscious insight into the nature of the rules being used (Knowlton & Squire, 1996; Reber, 1993). This similarity between intuition and implicit learning suggests that it may be fruitful to consider intuition as the subjective experience associated with the use of knowledge gained through implicit learning.”

“Before giving a more formal definition of intuition, intuition must be distinguished from insight or the Eureka. t phenomenon (Schooler & Melcher, 1994; Schooler et al., 1993). Sudden insight also seems to rely on nonconscious processes, but when awareness is derived in insight, it is not a judgment, as is usually the case in intuition. Rather, insight is a process where one suddenly becomes aware of the logical relations between a problem and the answer.”

“There is substantial evidence that there is a major division in social, cognitive and neural components of intuition between judgment and action.”

Building Smart Students: A Neuroscience Perspective on the Role of Emotion and Skilled Intuition in Learning, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang & Matthias Faeth. “The message from social and affective neuroscience is clear: no longer can we think of learning as separate from or disrupted by emotion, and no longer can we focus only at the level of the individual student in analyzing good strategies for classroom instruction. Students and teachers are socially interacting and learning from one another in ways that cannot be done justice by examining only the “cold” cognitive aspects of academic skills. Like other forms of learning and interacting, building academic knowledge involves integrating emotion and cognition in social context. Academic skills are “hot,” not “cold”!”

“Their conscious knowledge, emotional reactions, and cognitive strategies are not integrated or aligned.”

“If students feel no connection to the knowledge they learn in school, the academic content will seem emotionally meaningless to them.”

“Neuroscience suggests that it may be more effective for teachers to judiciously build into their curricula opportunities for the development of skilled intuition.”

“As learners become more emotionally skilled, task-irrelevant emotional activities can fade, leaving actively engaging emotional learning experiences in their place.”

“Bringing Emotions Back into Classroom Learning: Three Strategies for Teachers

  • Strategy 1: Foster emotional connection to the material As much as possible, students can be encouraged to follow their interests and passions, with the teacher helping them to see the relevance and usefulness of the academic material to these choices.
  • Strategy 2: Encourage students to develop smart academic intuitions “Am I getting closer to the correct solution?” Students’ private (or collective) reflections on questions such as these are critical to the development of useful, generalizable, memorable knowledge. And, at their base, answering these questions requires integrating emotional with cognitive knowledge to produce skilled intuitions—the kind of intuitions that will transfer to other academic and real-life situations.
  • Strategy 3: Teachers should actively manage the social and emotional climate of the classroom For teachers to effectively manage the social-emotional climate of their classroom, they must strike a balance between these two kinds of emotion by actively managing the emotions of their students, helping the learners to attend to, trust, and thrive on the subtle emotional signals they are slowly building as they accumulate meaningful academic experiences. As learners become more emotionally skilled, task-irrelevant emotional activities can fade, leaving actively engaging emotional learning experiences in their place.”

Women used spirituality for revenge on society

Women are known as using their intuition more than men and women start up healing and spiritual businesses using intuition or say they do but it can also be a part of their manipulation. Sometimes it is men who are the leaders behind using women.

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola-Estés a post-trauma recovery specialist and psychoanalyst says that men has seen women with both amazement and fear, because of our ability to bear and give life; so they decided the women must be tamed.

Our standpoint as a team is clear: Women have been historically vulnerable to manipulation and opression, and therefore are them who had been the target across religions and sects for being used as baits, recruiting puppets and side-walkers.

In the process of finding their own voices, women have been de-naturalyzed, and many are deceived into a competition against men, masked as independence and self-esteem but ultimately, they force themselves into dangerous places

Who wins with this? Divorce is more than two adults not understanding each other. Divorce is a broken home and the system has tried to naturalize it, no matter how many psychotherapists have to deal with the pieces…broken homes, the absence of adecquate role models, and the lack of rules.

Women are the group that comes to be most exposed to stress: Vicarious trauma (also known as secondary PTSD – Post traumatic stress disorder) is only one of the many examples of mental stress and pressure women are vulnerable to.

Can we consider the fact that women have used spirituality as a shelter place, because society never believed in their abilities in other fields? Can we call this some kind of retaliation for all the years women have been “tamed”?

Follow the ladder of leadership in sects and so-called new age movements, and you will either find a man in charge, or a woman that behaves as one.

Rethinking and remapping the relationships between man and woman, out of power paradigms, will allow a new perspective and understanding of a natural and healthier spirituality, and “female intuition” will (happily) become an obsolete quote.  As Einstein before, we believe we all have access to the gift of intuitive knowledge, regardless of gender or age. The more we open the gift, the more astonishing it gets.

We wish you a nice week from E.Mindset team.

Christer Edman & Veronica Rebora


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