You heard the word intuition nowadays. I guess once you have experienced in some real-life situation that a feeling emerged in your mind, and from that feeling, you considered to make a decision or you made a quick choice on something which eventually was better or beneficial for you and made you safe. You did this without any logical reasoning or thinking or true facts and knowledge you gained from your childhood. You may say that the feeling that was arisen in your mind and influenced you to make a choice to do something or not to do something, to say something, or not to say something was intuitive.
In short form
Intuition is a state of mind or a frame of mind, or a temporary situation of the human mind where a person gains a capacity to understand something or know something based on his or her feelings and not on the real facts.
A Psychological term with similarities
You should compare intuition with some other psychological terms which are similar to the situation, so that you may get a clearer picture of it. For example, inference, you infer almost every day. Your power of inference is based on the knowledge you already earned in your lifetime. A short example can be something like you inferred from the knowledge you gained from the weather channel that the day would be cloudy and it would be raining. And it rained that day proving your inference was perfect. Another term is “Instinct”. For example, you cried loudly when you were born was an instinctive behavior because no one taught you to cry. But intuition is not like inference or instinct, it is not based on the knowledge you have learned.
Newborn turtles are seen to head for the ocean just after they hatched out. This behavior is an example of instinct, and not intuitive.
Science and evidence
Can intuition be a process to learn or gain knowledge? There is no clearer scientific answer. Suppose a person was born blind and deaf. He or she never underwent any special education facilities in his or her lifetime. The person remained alone in solitary confinement from his or her birth. Is this possible for him or her to learn or gain some knowledge from intuition capacity? Perhaps no scientist can provide firm evidence of the very existence of the state of intuition in our mind. So it is an abstract concept. Unlike prominent neurologist Sigmund Freud, not all scientists renounce the existence of intuition. For example, renowned psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung says intuition is an abstract function, which can be achieved by thinking or feeling in the form of perception of an unconscious mind. So according to Jung, intuitive decisions can be made only by the part of our mind which is mainly unconscious and our sense of perception made intuition come into being. After that, you can imagine or fantasize about ideas or solutions or even how to escape a critical real-life situation.
Merits and demerits
Now you imagine a situation, where you are experiencing this intuitive state of mind almost every day and everywhere. Scientifically, or more precisely speaking, psychologically you are defined as an “intuitive type” person. Is this a blessing for your life? Probably not. You are roaming in the imaginary world. You make decisions of your life based on imagination, you think of an imaginary problem you may face in near future, and sometimes you solve those problems in your imaginary way. You became a daydreamer. But you failed in every aspect of life.
Sometimes there are no other choices but to use intuition
Contrary to that horrible situation of your life, scientists also found the merits of being intuitive in some practical situations you may face. Research psychologist Gary Klein, who researched “Naturalistic Decision Making” found that the intuitive power is beneficial when a person is under pressure and having a short time to make a decision, when he or she might not find enough time to think or analyze from his or her acquired knowledge.
In a Chess game, when both sides finish only 3 moves, there will be over 9 million possible available moves for each player. Under extreme pressure and limited time frame, the use of intuition is heavily seen among Chess players.
Don’t rely on your intuition state always. Try to think and perform logical reasoning if you have sufficient time before you make a decision. If you feel something strongly without any particular reason try to verify it. Although some of your feelings about future events cannot be verified at present. Remember always making decisions based on your intuitive feelings may destroy your opportunity to succeed and achieve something. But you and I both know that some decisions cannot be made without intuitions and it’s easier to make decisions where so many options are available in front of us. And without the power of intuitions, almost no religion or prophecy might not exist on earth. And there will be almost no researcher in the field of science or humanity if they stop themselves from being intuitive.