Demystifying Intuition: What It Is, What It Does, and How It Does It
Definitions of intuition are discussed and two working definitions are proposed. This is followed by a list of eight unresolved problems concerning intuition. It is suggested that all of these problems can be resolved by cognitive-experiential self-theory (CEST), a dual-process theory of personality according to which people process information with two systems, an experiential/intuitive system that is an associative learning system that humans share with other animals and a uniquely human verbal reasoning system. Intuition is considered to be a subsystem of the experiential/ intuitive system that operates by exactly the same principles and attributes but has narrower boundary conditions. The next section includes a presentation of the most relevant aspects of CEST with an emphasis on the operating rules and attributes of the experiential/intuitive system. This is followed by demonstrating how the operation of the experiential/intuitive system can resolve each of the unresolved problems concerning intuition. The article closes with a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the experiential/intuitive and rational/analytic systems. It is concluded that neither system is generally superior to the other, as each has important advantages and disadvantages.