Handbooks of Research Methods in Management series
Edited by Marta Sinclair
Chapter 4: Conceptualizing intuition as a mental faculty: toward a ‘critique of intuitive reason’ and a process model of intuition
In contrast with ‘metaphysical speculation,’ good science should not only provide a plausible explanation for observable phenomena but its theoretical explanations should also be empirically falsifiable and the tests should be ‘objectively’ replicable. Good science should allow us to make predictions and even risky predictions (i.e., predictions that put the theory to the test). Good science should also make progress, continue to deepen our understanding and increase the certainty we have regarding our explanations. It could be argued that the scientific study of intuition does not yet comply with a number of these requirements. It is our purpose in this chapter to help make the scientific study of intuition more scientific, i.e., to approach the above demarcation criteria. The demands on human cognition are rising because the complexity of problems and issues facing humanity are increasing and because decisions have increasingly further reaching consequences. Intuition is supposed to help decision makers address complex problems, especially in dynamic and turbulent environments, even when few facts are available. If this claim is correct, the question is raised as to how, to what extent and under which circumstances intuition can achieve this. To answer these questions, there is a need for a science of intuition because the claim is important and of great interest to humanity.
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