8 junio, 2024

Intuitive knowledge: what it is, characteristics, what it is for, examples

What is intuitive knowledge?

He intuitive knowledge it is the one that appears automatically, without the need for analysis, reflection or direct experience. Because it cannot be obtained in any of these ways, it is considered to come from an independent source, usually associated with the subconscious mind.

The word «intuition» comes from the Latin term guessed, which can mean “consider” or “contemplate”. This phenomenon has been studied since the time of ancient Greece, and some philosophers, such as Plato or Aristotle, already spoke of intuitive knowledge and considered it essential for our daily experience.

In more recent times, the study of intuitive knowledge has fallen to disciplines such as psychology. Especially since the appearance of the cognitive branch of this science, numerous investigations have been carried out to try to understand how this phenomenon works.

Characteristics of intuitive knowledge

The most important characteristic of intuitive knowledge is that it is a phenomenon that is not related to our rational mind. Rather, its products are created by our unconscious mind. We are able to voluntarily access the results of this process, but we do not understand how they have been formed.
Another of the most relevant characteristics of intuitive knowledge is that, unlike other forms of wisdom, it does not require a process to appear. Rather, it arises suddenly, in a way that is not under our control.
In this sense, intuitive knowledge would be related to the process of insight. In both cases, we are only aware of the result of information processing, but we are not capable of accessing the process by which it was created or studying it rationally.
The vast majority of the time, the products of intuitive knowledge cause a specific emotional state in the person who experiences it. Thus, for example, an individual may feel uncomfortable in front of someone they have just met, and they would not know why; or a person could be alerted in a dangerous situation automatically.
Related to the previous point is the fact that intuitive knowledge never expresses its results in words. On the contrary, when we experience this phenomenon, what we have are sensations and emotions that lead us to act in a certain way. PFor example, a professional wrestler knows when his opponent is about to land a punch, but he could not explain in words the process that led him to develop that conclusion. The same happens when we are able to recognize a facial expression, or to detect if they are lying to us or not.
At first glance, intuitive knowledge may seem very simple to us. This is because we don’t have to make a conscious effort to, for example, know if someone is angry or happy or to sense where a ball is going to land when it is thrown at us. However, recent studies show that these processes are actually very complicated.
Part of the intuitive knowledge has to do with the accumulation of data in similar situations. When we have a lot of experience in a particular aspect of our lives, intuitive knowledge is more likely to emerge.
Many researchers consider this type of knowledge to be what differentiates experts in a discipline from those who have not yet achieved mastery. Experts, by facing the same problems over and over again, would have accumulated a great deal of experience in their field.
Due to its emotional and non-verbal nature, intuitive knowledge bears no relation to theory or reason. On the contrary, its products are aimed at helping us make decisions, change our behavior, avoid dangers and, ultimately, improve our situation.

What is intuitive knowledge for?

Intuitive knowledge, like all phenomena associated with the most primitive parts of our brain, is associated with improved survival and replication capacity in our species. Thus, most of the situations in which it appears have to do either with our physical well-being, or with our relationships with others.

On the other hand, the intuitive knowledge associated with experience is slightly different. Rather than being directly related to survival or reproduction, its role is to save cognitive resources when we are constantly faced with similar situations.

Types of intuitive knowledge

emotional intuitive thinking

This type of intuitive knowledge has to do with the ability to detect emotional states in other people, as well as certain personality traits or way of being.

rational intuitive thinking

This is the version of intuitive knowledge that helps us solve an immediate problem or deal with a specific situation. It is closely related to expert knowledge, and can be seen, for example, in athletes, or in those who constantly experience risky situations.

psychic intuitive thinking

This type of intuition has to do with the ability to choose a path to overcome a long-term difficulty, for example, to make a decision that will affect the future work or love life.

Other types of intuitions

In some cultures and currents, both philosophical and psychological, there is sometimes talk of other types of intuitions that would not fit into any of the categories we have just seen. Thus, we could find ourselves, for example, with the insightsor with the states of enlightenment of the Buddhist and Hindu religions.

Examples of intuitive knowledge

The ability to detect the emotional state of a person with whom we interact regularly, just listening to their tone of voice or seeing their facial expression.
The ability to know where a ball is going to land when it is thrown at us and to be able to catch it on the fly.
The ability of a firefighter who has been working in his field for many years to detect if a structure is about to collapse due to flames.
Our innate ability to detect if someone is lying to us or if they are being honest.
A farmer knows intuitively if a piece of land is arable or not.
A very experienced doctor knows intuitively if a patient has a certain disease.


intuition. Recovered from britannica.com.

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