Showing posts with label intuition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label intuition. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Intuition and Science that Lead to Solutions

Science and Intuition seem like they have been at odds with each other but the more we learn about intuition the more we understand its knowledge base. There are two ways to gain insight into particular problems that can lead to a path of discovery and knowledge. Science and intuition are not opposed to each other and are based in some of the very same methodologies. 

Intuition is a blend of logic, experience and subconscious (Robinson, 2007). It is a fast paced analysis that leads to a better understanding of the environment as well as those “awe” inspiring moments that create insight. As a logic, experience and subconscious process it cannot be discounted as a valid method of understanding the world. 

The process of intuition offers a way of seeing and experiencing the world that some people call the “sixth sense”. This is not a third eye as common folklore states but is similar to sensing and perceiving the world around us (Hales, 2012). It is an understanding of a solution without having the knowledge of where that solution came from.  

Intuition is seen as a higher form of knowledge through instant cognition. That instant understanding cannot occur unless there has been enough background knowledge to make such insight possible. The subconscious connects the information and puts forward a solution without our conscious awareness. It is quick and many times very accurate.

Immanuel Kant discussed intuition as something derived without direct observation while Benedict Spinoza thought of it as understanding of the world as an interconnected whole. The latter is a knowledge that takes the big truths and breaks them down into individual insight. The greater concept leads to the truth of smaller elements. 

Intuition and science can actually work in tandem. Intuition, like innovation, requires a deeper understanding of product purposes before a new solution can be found. This means that someone must have the education, experience, or skill to create the pieces of information that lead to a new idea. When that initial insight occurs it must be explored and tested to become something tangible. The scientific method can be an enhancement to self-generated knowledge.

Hales, St. (2012). The faculty of intuition. Analytic Philosophy, 53 (2). 

Robinson, L. (2007). Trust your gut. Business Book Summaries, 1 (1).

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason-Space and Time

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) believed that both experience and reason are necessary to make knowledge. One without the other does not work well creating situations whereby reason alone is not weighed in time, while experience, without reason, is limited as an in-depth analysis. Kant’s work The Critique of Purse Reason (1781) delves into the nature of thought. 

He makes a distinction between a priori knowledge and a posterior knowledge. A posterior knowledge is that which we gain from experience while a priori knowledge is that which we gain from the universal truths of reason. Scientific knowledge is gained from a priori/analytic reason while experience is gained from a posterior/synthetic reason. 

Kant also moves into the concept of time and space as part of the a priori constructs of the mind. Just like cause and effect is important to understanding so is space and time. It is a process of experiencing the world and making some order out of it. Without cause and effect along with space and time, it will be difficult to make meaning out of the phenomena we experience every day. 

Reason can improve upon the overall process of understanding. By reflecting and examining the various components that make up logical thought formations we have the ability to improve upon them.  As we manipulate our environment, we also gain more information that adds to our logical thought formations.

When we have gained a stronger internal representation of external phenomenon we can say we are using reason and knowledge. This combination affords maximum understanding of our environment. It is a process of continual learning whereby each age can provide higher platforms of reason and knowledge use.  

Intuitions are based within experience. Some psychologists argue that intuitions are instant knowledge drawn from subconscious process. It is the subconscious data that connects and reconnects to make meaning out of its environment. At times, an instant thought or concept can come forward as a solution called intuition.

Immanuel Kant contributed to concepts of human intelligence, psychology, philosophy, and metaphysics. Many other studies have been conducted that back up his arguments. That does not mean he does not have critics but that as a vantage point his philosophies appear to be as valid as any others are. 

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Book Review: Thinking Fast and Slow by Dr. Daniel Khaneman-Priming, Intuition, and Rational Thought

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Dr. Daniel Kahneman discussed the overall processes of fast-paced intuition and a slower process of rational control. The book helps to highlight two concepts called the experiencing self and the remembering self. The experiencing of self is the intuitive experiences that come from our senses while the remembering self is the reflective thoughts that help us gauge history. Each system contributes to the decisions we make and why we make them. 

In system 1 (intuition) people make quick judgments to threats or changes in our environment that allow them to react quickly. The stimulus forces them to quickly scan for possible reactions and associations that benefit their survival. Once they have reacted they can use system 2 (calculation and reflection) to review the possible choices and deliberatively make better choices. 

Both systems can have bias. System 1 can improperly perceive information and make incorrect assumptions from the information. The first answer that comes to mind is not always the correct one. Likewise, people’s rational and deliberative thought can also fool them because they are missing important perceptual information as people rationally move through logical steps and connections.   
Rationality is an interesting concept people use in science but also applies to people’s daily life. 

Rationality is a more deliberative and systematic approach to understanding problems. It relies on calculation, reflection, and judgment. However, rationality is also having consistent beliefs through a person’s being.  For example, it is rational for someone to believe in ghosts as long as it is internally consistent with their other thoughts and beliefs.

The book also discusses priming and its impact on choice. In a priming situation a person can be shown perceptual or conceptual cues that impact responses and choices later. For example, a person primed with environmental stimuli might recognize that stimuli later when more information becomes available. Conceptual priming is often used in research and is focused on using thoughts and concepts under the same modality to impact understanding at a future date.  Perceptual priming can be seen as intuitive while conceptual priming is more rational.

Priming does not need to be overt information and can be unconscious. For example, a single word can be used to prime a thought later through a particular interaction with the environment. Even thought the book doesn’t state this one could make a logical argument that all people are primed in some form or fashion through their collective experiences and shared pasts that allow for groupings of responses. It is possible to predict future choices based upon cultural primes from the past if these past experiences encourage particular behavioral patterns.

The book helps highlight how the “two systems” work together to make accurate or inaccurate judgments. Some have described these as the “hot” and “cold” systems. The “hot” system scans for information and the “cold” system makes rational judgments. When both systems can work together and understand their relationship to the environment a person can develop the strongest responses to challenges and situations while reducing potential cognitive bias and improper reactions. 

The author Daniel Kahneman is a 2002 Nobel Prize winner in Economic Systems. His work as a psychologist focuses on decision making, behavioral economics, judgments, and hedonic behaviors.  In 2012 he was named in the Foreign Policy magazine as one of the top global thinkers. Many of his works are considered new research and ground breaking. 

The book is certainly a beneficial read for those who are interested in decision-making and bias. However, if one were looking for casual reading they may forewarned to move down the aisle to less intensive works. The work includes sufficient depth, case studies, and research on how the mind processes information and the heuristics we use to make decisions.  Even though the language is not difficult to understand the book is more doctoral level in its orientation. 

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN: 978-0-374-27563

Blog Ranking: Academics/Researchers 4.6/5 Casual Readers: 3.9/5
Price:  $20