The Intuitive Cling
The more I talk with others about the erroneous inclinations of the intuitive brain the more I face responses that are incredulous, emotional, and sometimes irrational. When it comes to intuition, it seems, people are quite fond of theirs. Rational thought, I am often reminded, elicits annoyance. Ramp up the annoyance when you remind people of the biases that underlie their silly beliefs. Rational and scientific thinking in the public domain is no way to win friends either. And it seems, that its use is not necessarily an effective way to win an argument. In a recent conversation with a colleague about the magical power of full moons I said something silly like the data doesn’t support a relationship between the phase of the moon and problem behaviors in classrooms. The response was “I don’t believe in data.” How do you respond to that? How do you respond to the rejection of reality?
I don’t have anything against intuitive thinking, well that may not be completely true; as it clearly is prone to error. It is however the source of creativity. My wife suggests that intuition is part of the essence of being a women: that women are socialized to value it as if it where foundational. Rejecting it is like rejecting a core piece of oneself.
I can’t imagine a world devoid of intuition. I’m not sure I want to. On the other hand, the costs of it are ever present and often very destructive. When I strive to find the balance, I struggle. Perhaps you can help me find that balance, or perhaps bolster the value of this sticky propensity. Please tell me what you think.