Chapter 18: Capturing Intuitions ‘in Flight’: Observations from Research on Attention and Mindfulness
18 Capturing intuitions ‘in flight’: observations from research on attention and mindfulness Erik Dane Most of us are well acquainted with gut feelings, or intuitions. At various points in our lives, these feelings provide us with guidance as we seek to make critical and oftentimes difficult decisions in work and non-work domains. For most of us, the ‘feeling of knowing’ that characterizes our intuitions could not be more apparent. As such, we can tell quite easily when such feelings arise. Right? In this chapter, I challenge the assumption that our intuitions are always obvious to us. To be sure, many of them are likely to be selfevident. However, a growing body of psychological research suggests that we fail to attend to some of our gut feelings (Dijksterhuis & Aarts, 2010; Hofmann & Wilson, 2010; Koch & Tsuchiya, 2006). In other words, our intuitions can recede or dissipate before receiving due consideration. The disconcerting implications of the arguments advanced here raise the question of whether we can become more consciously attentive to our intuitions. On this point, I maintain that individuals are more likely to ‘capture’ their gut feelings via conscious attention to the extent that they are in a mindful state of consciousness in which their attention is directed toward present moment phenomena. Thus, I offer mindfulness as a vehicle by which individuals can achieve greater access to their intuitions and perhaps become more effective decision makers as a result. INTUITION AND DECISION MAKING Recent years have witnessed a growth of research on...
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