Monday, 30 May 2016

SCIENTISTS MEASURE INTUITION

This new study, published online in April in the journal Psycological Science, researchers have devised a technique to measure intuition and say that this "sixty sense" can play a real part when someone is making a decision. So, after using this new method they found evidence stating that people can use their intuition to make more accurate, faster and confident decisions.

The researchers suggest that intuition generally refers to a brain process that gives people the ability to make decisions without the use of analytical reasoning. Previous studies didn't actually measure intuition because researchers didn't really know how to quantify it. But Joel Pearson, an associate professor of psychology and his colleagues came up with a series of experiments to determine whether people were using their intuition to help guide their decision making or judgment. They define what we call intuition as a "nonconscious emotional information".

In the experiments, the researchers showed small groups of about 20 college students black and white images of dots moving around on one half of a computer screen. The researchers asked the students to decide whether the dots were generally moving to the left or to the right. As the participants made this decision, on the other side of the computer screen, they saw a bright, flashing square of color.

But sometimes, for example, each image was aimed at making people feel either a positive emotion (a puppy or a baby) or a negative emotion (a gun or a snake). However, the participants were not aware that they were being shown these emotional images because they flashed at speeds too fast to be consciously perceived.

The results showed that when the participants were shown the positive subliminal images, they did better on the task: They were more accurate in determining which way the dots were moving. But they also responded more quickly and reported feeling more confident in their choice. The researchers, with this experiment, proved that the participants became better at using their intuition over time, where they kept using it more frequently.


In the future, the researchers might be able to develop a method to train people to take advantage of their intuition and then test them to see if their intuition truly improved with more frequent use and practice, Pearson said.

Supplied by Inés Gibernau


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