We explain what intuition is and what its main characteristics are. Also, its importance and how to develop it.

What is intuition?

Intuition is the ability of the human being to understand situations, things, thoughts or feelings and to be able to make decisions instantly without the intervention of the mind or logic. It is popularly called "hunch", "hunch" or "inner voice.""

The human being perceives much more than what he makes conscious, all that information is stored and is part of intuition. Intuition is characterized by giving quick and automatic responses because it uses the content of the unconscious to evaluate and react to a stimulus or situation without waiting for the rational or conscious reaction. Intuition associates past experiences of the individual and acts based on beliefs and values and differs from reason that uses logic and the analysis of variables to relate to the internal and external world.

Intuition uses non-verbal language , is based on perception and is linked to sensations. The type of thinking that predominates in a person with intuition is lateral thinking, which is creative and flexible, and in most cases the subject cannot understand or explain where knowledge comes from .

This type of knowledge is complemented by rational intelligence and favors interpersonal relationships, helps the person to function in daily life and allows the recognition of feelings, sensations or gestures.

Characteristics of intuition

Some of the main characteristics of intuition are:

  • It is irrational . Intuitive knowledge is usually housed in the unconscious and cannot be understood from the intellect or logic.
  • It is present suddenly and immediately . The intuition acts instantaneously and without the reasoning of the person mediating. It manifests itself through a reaction that occurs in the individual to a certain stimulus or situation.
  • Take alternate paths . It is based on sensations, perceptions, personal experiences, feelings and not on the conventional way of acquiring and developing knowledge. However, it does not necessarily lead to correct results.
  • It is prior to language . It manifests through the body, with emotions or feelings, long before the individual can describe what is happening in words.
  • It is practical . It is related to decision making and problem solving.
  • It is not linear . It does not respond to a logical or rational pattern, on the contrary, it is presented in a disorderly way and its understanding can only be accessed with time and the arrival of rational thought, which orders ideas .
  • Helps people understand the world around them . He does it from a different position than logic because he observes the body language, the sensations and the implicit in each interaction.
  • It is presented automatically . The individual does not control his perceptions or sensations, but they happen independently of external conditions. This implies that intuition requires less effort than reasoning.
  • It has different ways of manifesting itself . It does so through images, words, dreams or impulses.
  • It can be developed . Thanks to brain neuroplasticity, it is possible to learn intuition through techniques such as meditation and relaxation.

Intuition in philosophy

Intuition in philosophy

It is believed that the primitive human being was the first to make use of intuition when using this knowledge to make decisions that would allow their survival.

Over the years, the idea of intuition was studied by philosophers, who defined it based on different criteria, but always taking into account its immediate and automatic nature. Plato was the first to determine the existence of different forms of knowledge, among which the noesis stood out .

In the seventeenth century, the rationalism of the French philosopher RenĂ© Descartes defined intuition as that which is illuminated by the light of reason , which is why any notion involving the presence of the senses was put aside. Already in the 18th century, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant discarded the idea that it is not known by the senses, but admitted that intellectual knowledge cannot be totally affected by the empirical, so that not everything can be known by the senses.

Philosophers of the 19th century also gave their own definition of intuition . Max Scheler, a German philosopher, highlighted the presence of values in individuals that are presented to him automatically and directly. In turn, Henri Bergson defined intuition as: "The intellectual sympathy through which the being is transported inside the object to coincide in what is unique and, consequently, inexpressible".

The role and importance of intuitive thinking

The role and importance of intuitive thinking

Intuition is a form of knowledge present in all human beings, which helps the individual to relate to the world based on values or past experiences and the information stored in the unconscious.

This type of knowledge involves sensations and emotions, and what is commonly known as "hunches." It is a capacity that allows making quick and automatic decisions and solving problems based on the individual's own characteristics and with a view to personal development and the search for well-being.

Being an irrational source, in many cases, intuition is mistrusted, it is not taken into account or it is relegated to the intellectual knowledge that is usually conceived as more reliable or correct. Intuition serves as a guide for decision making and implies having confidence and self-esteem to trust and believe in it and always balance it with the information that comes from other sources.

How to develop intuition?

How to develop intuition?

All human beings have the intuitive capacity and, depending on the case, they can develop it or take it into account . Intuition is often used when taking certain actions, solving problems, or making decisions. For many people it is difficult to recognize it and then trust it.

To develop intuition, the individual must make room for it to manifest and thus be able to recognize it. For this, it is important to resort to practices that generate climates and environments of calm and tranquility so that the person can get in touch with their interiority and listen to the voices of their intuition.

Then it is important to know how to differentiate what comes from intuition from what has other sources, such as fear or prejudice. To recognize it, you must know that intuition is that internal voice that defines or marks a path that generates well-being. It is the decision that leaves the individual in a state of calm and conformity .

The next step in developing your intuition is to believe in it and trust your ability, even if it cannot be fully understood by reasoning. Being a type of quick and automatic knowledge, the person tends to distrust it and is tied to empirical and verifiable knowledge that usually inspires confidence in the face of what cannot be explained.

It is important to mention that intuition is one more capacity of the individual and, therefore, it is necessary that it be balanced with other types of knowledge such as sensitive or rational knowledge.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring reliable sources and recommendations from experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


MA student of the TransAtlantic Masters program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Political Science with a focus on European Studies. Expressed ideas are open to revision. He not only covers Technical articles but also has skills in the fields of SEO, graphics, web development and coding. .

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