Science of Intuition

Intuition, the Science

Instinct, gut feeling, intuition, all of us have these moments. The times when a hunch we have is proven correct. But, only to wonder later, whether it really was intuitive brilliance on our part or just a lucky co-incidence. When running your business, your business acumen can be reinforced by your business instinct. After all, intuition is a just “acquisition of knowledge without using rational reasoning and logic”, right? Perhaps!

Certain research studies provide support to allow us to believe our intuition is probably an amalgamation of past data, an increase sense of observation and a skill to look beyond the obvious and the reality. The connection with your business is how you conduct your business development and research. You take the knowledge you have, research what you need to learn, begin to make hypothesis based on this combination. You then look for supporting facts, figures, and data to encourage to make strong decisions.

Scientists Say

According to research by Professor Gerard Hodgkinson of the Centre for Organizational Strategy, Learning and Change at Leeds University Business School*, intuition really is the result of our brain’s information processing mechanism. Several other research studies have also put forward similar theories.

Conscious & Subconscious Intuition

In laymen terms. To better understand the gist of these studies. Know your mind has two parts; the conscious and the sub conscious. Research reveals your conscious mind can hold up to nine ideas at a time. Whereas your subconscious mind can process around 2 million! The information being brought to your conscious mind is just a fraction of what is processed by your subconscious.

For instance, let us say you have a hunch about not taking a particular route for an important meeting. You realize later that day, had you not followed your gut feeling you would have been stuck in a huge traffic snarl. Now, it is quite possible you heard something on the radio about major road repair work going on in that area a few days back. Or you overheard chunks of conversation between your colleagues that you did not register in your conscious mind. But your unconscious mind remembered the information. Thus what you thought was a hunch was actually a decision based on the information your conscious mind already possessed.

Your Business Connection

So, is intuition really a science? Well, the best answer to this question perhaps is while the scientific community may not go as far as calling intuition a science. Research studies do suggest our gut feeling may in fact be based on solid information when it comes to processing huge chunks of data. How you apply this thought processing to your business will depend upon your level of belief. There is no right or wrong answer. Some business owners follow their guts in business. Others follow data. There is a happy medium to this. Be sure to write down your gut instincts. Do the research. Then find where there is common ground. You might just surprise yourself!

This means in scientific terms, intuition is the result of our past experiences. Our intuitive accuracy therefore depends on the quality of these experiences. Referring back to our previous example. Had the conversation you overheard between your colleagues not been based on factual information your hunch may have proved to be incorrect.

*Source science Daily March 6, 2008

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