Hunches are not magic or divination

Ancient Greek philosophers have already dealt with it, and now scientists are trying to solve this mystery. So how does the sixth sense, the ability to intuitively assess the situation or make a decision, work?

Whether we are aware of it or not, rationality, that is, conscious and rational thinking, is not the only thing we use to make decisions or try to understand the situation.

So, at your friend’s request about his significant other: I knew I would marry her as soon as I saw her, there may be something. “Especially in the case of complex problems, we don’t just make decisions rationally,” says Gerd Gigerenzer of the Max Planck Institute, adding that intuition was and is very underrated. “It’s a form of unconscious intelligence.”

Experience matters

The famous psychologist and physician Carl G. Jung defined intuition in the same way – “perception through the subconscious”. It could also be described as insight or insight, like sudden knowledge, understanding, or good judgment, which is not mediated by conscious thought. But how is this possible?

For a better understanding, let’s look at the distant past. If someone had to flee from a predator, there was no time to think which way it would be best, to carefully assess whether he had a better chance of climbing a tree or heading towards his gang.

The snap decision on where to run or climb seems random at first glance, but it’s not. Somewhere in the background, in this brief moment, the role of knowledge that one has already attained plays a role.

In the case of the mentioned friend, who knew the real one at the beginning, it probably happened the same way. Considering how the phenomenon of intuition works, according to scientists, this was probably not his first daughter – to see the future without thinking seems better to the experienced.

forecast machine

“Research suggests that the brain is an excellent predictive machine that constantly compares incoming information and confronts the current situation with already stored experiences, knowledge and memories. Basically, this means that our brain is constantly able to cope with each situation in the most optimal way possible, “says psychologist Laura Kutschová.

“If something happens that the brain can’t predict, the whole system will create a new cognitive pattern.”

And so we usually have an idea in areas where we also have experience. Psychologist Gary Klein, a pioneer in naturalistic decision-making, gives the example of the fire chief.

Firefighters often have to act quickly without thinking, so when the fire chief ordered them to leave the house they responded to quickly, they all ran away quickly, even though there was no apparent reason to do so. . The commander himself realized on the outside why he had done so – the fire was unusually quiet, and his ears were too hot. The fire was in the basement below them, so it could quickly spread downstairs or the ground could collapse.

By the way – in this context it is interesting to note that, according to scientists, people seem to make better intuitive decisions if they are under stress. However, this does not apply to sadness, melancholy or depression. At that time, you should not trust your inner suspicion so much.

Internal compass

The psychological term for an assessment made by the fire chief is intuitive intelligence. Firefighters in Klein’s publications claim that they do not analyze action much, but rather act. A series of studies from the 1980s and 1990s lead to similar conclusions – early suspicions from experienced doctors, nurses and entrepreneurs that scientists observed are almost never wrong.

“It means we can rely on intuition in individual areas, but in others we can’t rely on it at all,” says personal development literature author Al Pittampalli.

“Think of intuition as a compass and of the world as a place with high magnetic resonance points. In some areas the compass is an invaluable aid, but in others it does not. One of our most important tasks is to draw a map so you know when to use the compass and when to put it off.”

When to use reason?

It is important to map the areas where we have no experience, as well as those where we fail. We shouldn’t draw the compass there. We can confuse other states of mind with intuition, such as hope. For example, winning at poker without experience is unlikely. It won’t happen just because we hope it will.

Only very experienced players can play intuitively, and these days even older ones who have learned everything at the card table. Their younger colleagues, who have acquired skills on the computer and in the online environment, are no longer so good at intuitive games. They don’t have as many other players and their expressions.

We sometimes confuse desire with intuition. Of course, we yearn to be liked, especially if we haven’t been successful in the last four relationships, and we really want it to work this time. However, in this case, it may be better to rely on reason. If someone starts to attract us strongly, we better not consider it as destiny right away – we have to take into account that it can work for us, but it doesn’t have to be.

Even the first impression is often deceiving. Just as we can meet a very nice and polite person and discover over time that they are ruthless under a nice facade, someone who is initially unsympathetic to us can have a positive effect – our suspicion simply cannot be the proof of someone’s bad nature, because Example.

It’s about how we understand each other. “Do we even know the intuition of generalizations, stereotypes and the halo effect?” Psychotherapist Stanislava Ševčíková points out how easily we allow ourselves (consciously or unconsciously) to be influenced by our environment or simply by the first impression, the so-called halo effect.

According to the expert, what we see, what we imagine or imagine often trumps classic cases of intuitive intelligence in our perception of reality.

Therefore, in cases where we do not have to make an immediate decision, according to the therapist, it is better to seek support for our opinion and feedback from other sources. Intuition seems to be a good tool for making decisions in tense situations. However, it is certainly not the only one we have for life.


They listen to their inner voice, that many ignore. They have a good relationship with their subconscious as they perceive their inner feelings.
They resort to solitude. It’s usually important to them. The benefit of these times is that they then have room to process their emotions, introspect, or simply relax their mind, which is necessary for intuition to manifest outside of tense times.
They listen to their body. They are able to pick up intuition through bodily sensations such as a dry throat or butterflies in the abdomen.
They are great observers. One of the weapons of intuition is the ability to pick up on many details and intuitive people pay close attention to this (for example in other people’s behavior, gestures or changes of clothes), they can give them the right sense and anticipate what is going to happen.
They pay special attention to their dreams. Dreams are the most popular communication channel of the subconscious, they often send us messages in their form – intuitive people try to understand them and usually also know if it is really something important or not. they had a “simple” dream.
They can emotionally connect to others. Empathy is one of the secret weapons of intuition. You learn a lot about a person when you understand how they feel.
They are flexible. They are not stuck in an opinion, if their intuition rings they are quickly able to reconsider their attitude and admit that they were wrong.

Where is the shooter going?

It is not easy to know where the compass of our intuition points. According to philosopher Susanna Newsonen, our suspicions can be better understood if you realize the following:

  • Above all, you have to trust yourself. Sometimes it helps to discuss the issue with other people, but it’s also good to remember that others may not always know what’s best for you. If they are more experienced than you, follow their advice. Yet it is you who have lived and are living your life, and you will also bear the consequences of your choice. This is especially true for life decisions – from choosing a job to leaving to choosing a partner.
  • Intuition is coded in your mind as a “network of facts and feelings”. Therefore, it is a much more powerful tool than someone else’s advice. Your intuition connects body, mind, and spirit and everything these three have dealt with so far in your life. If you feel excitement, bow ties, and a pleasant jitters about the new challenge, it’s probably because it’s the right thing to do. On the contrary, low self-esteem, lethargy or a state where you are literally scared of a situation indicates that something is very wrong. It is therefore good to focus not only on the state of our conscious mind, but also on that of our body.
“In less important decisions, I have always found it advantageous to weigh all the pros and cons. In fundamental matters, like choosing a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the subconscious, from a part of ourselves. In important decisions in personal life, I think we should be guided by the deep inner needs of our nature.”
Sigmund Freud

Leave a Comment