What Are Common Misconceptions about Intuition?


There are many misconceptions about intuition that are important to clear up.

  1. Intuition is only experienced by certain "gifted" people.
    Actually, intuition is a normal human experience and is reported in cultures throughout the world. However most people don't learn about what intuition is and how to use it, so they are not aware how it works in their life. But all people have the capacity for intuition.

    It is true that some people have more intuitive talent, or strengthen their intuition through practice, or are simply born into an environment that supports the development of intuition. These things can enhance intuition, just as practice and support enhance the development of just about any human attribute!

  2. Women are more intuitive than men.
    In reality, both men and women are born with intuition. However, in Westernized societies, women and artists have more permission to be intuitive than men do. Men often say that their intuition comes from a 'gut feeling.' Women are more likely to say, 'my heart told me.'

  3. Intuition is the same as guessing or fast analysis.
    While intuition is still a puzzle to scientist, researchers are beginning to discover that people really can know (not just guess) a lot at first glance. For example, recent 'thin slice' research finds that people can predict in just a few seconds of watching a teacher whether they will enjoy and value that teacher. These quick initial reactions generally closely match their teacher evaluations at the end of the course.

  4. Intuition is always right.
    While it is true that the purest intuitive experiences are correct, most of us have to learn to distinguish between pure intuition and wishful thinking or projected ideas about people and situations. We simply need experience before we can identify our pure intuition (almost all of us haven't had much schooling on the development of our intuition).

    Remember also that our "logical" conclusions are not always right either.

© 2006 Charlson Meadows, used with permission.