Handbook of Research Methods on Intuition
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Handbook of Research Methods on Intuition

Edited by Marta Sinclair

How does one go about studying intuition – a complex, cross-disciplinary field, which is still developing? How can intuition be captured in situ? How can a researcher harness their own intuition? This book uses method-related themes to help answer these questions and explore innovative developments in intuition research.
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Chapter 17: Interview data and grounded theory when studying the use of intuition in decision making

Olli Hyppänen


In order to study and understand the use of intuition in decision making, the construct and its underlying process have to be apparent to the researcher. The use of intuition is not necessarily a deliberate process, therefore direct observation cannot be used to capture it. It has been suggested that intuition is difficult to describe but easy to recognize (Sadler-Smith & Shefy, 2004). This is in part true, but since definitions of the construct are so varied it is also difficult to conclude whether we see ‘similar use(s) of intuition’ in comparison with previous research. Researchers have resorted to a number of tools, and therefore recommendations often differ significantly from study to study. As a result, there are no clear and explicit means of documenting how intuition is used in decision making. Studies to date have also been inclined to provide more indirect evidence (Shapiro & Spence, 1997). Although there have been attempts to define the intuition construct and methods for studying it, there is a need for a more analytical and empirical approach (Hodgkinson et al., 2008).

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