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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Intuition Has Great Value After All!

El Teide, Tenerife, Canary Is. Photo Courtesy Ignacio Martel
Gerd Gigerenzer, a German social psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, known for his cutting edge studies on the nature of thinking, has just written a new book: Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious. In it he essentially states that despite the bad reputation that gut feelings (intuition and instinct) have in our society, we might be wise not to neglect them. (See also a closely related topic I dealt with in my May 2006 Newsletter: Introducing Our Second and Third Brains: We Do Think With Our Heart and Instinct).

Indeed, in a recent NY Times article about his book, he states: "My research indicates that gut feelings are based on simple rules of thumb, what we psychologists term “heuristics.” These take advantage of certain capacities of the brain that have come down to us through time, experience and evolution. Gut instincts often rely on simple cues in the environment. In most situations, when people use their instincts, they are heeding these cues and ignoring other unnecessary information." read more

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