Edited by Marta Sinclair
William Duggan and Malia Mason Strategic intuition is the mental mechanism that produces flashes of insight. Some scholars exclude insight from the definition of intuition, but that distinction is more than a decade out of date, following the 1998 paper by Milner et al., ‘Cognitive neuroscience and the study of memory’. Recent research indicates that intuition comes from learning and automatic recall (Edelman, 2004; Gordon & Berger, 2003), in two ways. In expert intuition, recall comes quickly, without conscious thought, by drawing from direct experience. In strategic intuition, recall includes the experience of others learned through reading, seeing or hearing, which explains why it features slower recall from a wider range of weaker memory. But in both forms of intuition, the mechanism of recall is generally the same. The precise mechanism of recall, though, differs across the two forms of intuition. These differences are the subject of a growing body of modern research. Simon (1989), in the lab and Klein (1998), in the field, pioneered expert intuition, which has become a significant field of study, as researchers identify experts and measure how they perform expert tasks. Strategic intuition is much farther behind, because it is much more difficult to capture; flashes of insight happen at odd times, in odd places, to experts and non-experts alike. The study of strategic intuition did not make much methodological progress since von Clausewitz first identified flashes of insight as the key to Napoleon’s military strategy in the early 1800s (von Clausewitz, 1832 ) until the...
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