How intuition works and should it be trusted

What is intuition

It is the ability to quickly understand or learn something through the senses without having to think or apply logic. Intuition works when you are tormented by a bad feeling or you, faced with a difficult choice, accidentally make the right decision. Usually intuition is subjective, spontaneous and seemingly independent of your opinion.

However, it occurs more often than you might think. For example, a survey of 36 executives showed that 85% of them rely on it when making decisions. There is also a study that dentists use their sense of touch even more than they should.

How intuition works and why the brain needs it

Today, science considers intuition to be a complex tool of consciousness, which is born from the interaction of the senses, mind and experience and plays a significant role in cognition and decision making .

Throughout our lives, the brain notices patterns, connects facts and phenomena with each other, and creates patterns based on them. Most often this happens unintentionally and unconsciously.

Intuition works on such associations. It releases subconscious emotional information before we make a conscious decision and helps us avoid wasting resources on thinking. So we learn to predict a variety of things, up to the consequences of our actions and the behavior of other people.

In fact, this is a different method of cognition and thinking , which is similar to instinct. Although intuition is not always accurate, it works very quickly and does not require much concentration.

At the same time, we tend to both give intuitive beliefs more attention than they should, and underestimate them. For example, we often trust the first impression, which gives rise to prejudice. Or we refuse the initial correct decision, considering it spontaneous, in favor of the wrong one.

Should you trust your intuition?

Scientists say that intuition can help you make a decision that you will not doubt later.

For example, Dutch psychologists concluded in 2006 that intuition works well when there are many factors to consider. They found that those who, when buying a car or a home, were guided by their instincts, were 2.5 times more likely to be satisfied with the purchase than those who compared the pros and cons for a long time. Experts have called intuition “thinking without attention.”

But this does not mean that you need to abandon rational thinking.

Intuition can fail, as it creates only preliminary hypotheses that need to be tested. The Sixth Sense relies heavily on emotions, and its predictions are often subjective. For example, our instincts can be clouded by negative childhood experiences, complexes, fears, and mental trauma. In addition, intuition is unlikely to be useful in areas in which a person does not understand. Or in poorly predictable areas, such as the global economy.

The accuracy of intuition depends on many things, and everyone must decide for himself whether to rely on it. It is believed that the most accurate hints are given by instinct when we allow it to work freely: we do not argue and act “on autopilot”.

Is it true that some people have better intuition?

All people are different and have different abilities, which can affect the development of instinct. For example, the ability to perceive and assimilate information is important, as well as the style of thinking of a person and how much he is ready to rely on intuition. If you do not trust your “sixth sense”, then it will most likely not be developed.

How to develop your intuition

The knowledge of scientists about intuition is still at the level of theory and hypotheses, but there are a few tips that can help.


Find time for reflection: when you do not need to do anything and you can think about what is happening or could happen. This will help to establish more relationships, including non-obvious ones, between people, events, facts, one’s own feelings and thoughts. This is where journaling, walking, meditation and mindfulness practices come in handy.

Listen to physical sensations

Intuition may not be obvious. For example, in a feeling of heaviness or butterflies in the stomach. This is because there are about 100 million neurons in the gut. It is even called the “second brain”.

Of course, this does not mean that the digestive system can think. But it affects the mood. For example, it can reflect negative feelings through physical discomfort. Such signals may indicate intuitive anxiety. So sometimes it is worth listening to such sensations.

Also, experts from the UK are sure that a person’s intuition largely depends on how well he monitors his heartbeat. For example, an increase in heart rate means emotional arousal, which can also be considered a signal.


Everything you do improves your flair. Reading, sports, communication, entertainment, work – everything becomes part of the “sixth sense”. And the more experience you have in a certain area, the better your intuition will work in this area. Therefore, if you, for example, want to “read” other people, communicate more and study psychology.

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