Intuition and Reasoning: A Dual-Process Perspective
A lay definition of intuition holds that it involves immediate apprehension in the absence of reasoning. From a more technical point of view, I argue also that intuition should be seen as the contrastive of reasoning, corresponding roughly to the distinction between Type 1 (intuitive) and Type 2 (reflective) processes in contemporary dual process theories of thinking. From this perspective, we already know a great deal about intuition: It is quick, provides feelings of confidence, can reflect large amounts of information processing, and is most likely to provide accurate judgments when based on relevant experiential learning. Unlike reasoning, intuition is low effort and does not compete for central working memory resources. It provides default responses which may?or often may not?be intervened upon with high effort, reflective reasoning. Intuition has, however, been blamed for a range of cognitive biases in the psychological literatures on reasoning and decision making. The evidence indicates that with novel and abstract problems, not easily linked to previous experience, intervention with effortful reasoning is often required to avoid such biases. Hence, although it seems that intuition dominates reasoning most of the time?both in the laboratory and the real world?it can indeed be a false friend.