4 thoughts on “Why I Am Morally Opposed to Intuition”

  1. A fine general point except for the facts (and this is coming from someone well trained in graduate level social and cognitive psychology) that:
    * Heuristics are adaptive because they are generally accurate and useful 🙂
    * Experience can actually be a great teacher *if* the lessons learned are based on logical and empirical methods

    It is important to raise the issue of intuition vs. evidence based decision making. But both can lead to good and bad results.

    In a world (or at least a country) where we don’t value scientific thinking — or that beliefs should be grounded in applying prior probabilities to the probative value of new evidence — I’ve seen lots of “evidence based” decisions that were based on both bad evidence and faulty understanding of science/math/logic.

    My takeaways:
    * Please, please, please become a better Bayesian!
    * Consider the implication/magnitude of the decision to be made before using intuition. Many decisions can be made well using intuition. Important decisions with potentially wide-ranging consequences should take a more considered and evidence based approach.


    1. I agree about useful, to a degree, but would like to see the definition of generally accurate. Experience is data, so it should not be discounted, but it is only one source of data and often over-valued. Your takeaway is actually why I hate relying on it, very few of us are Bayesian. Actually very few of us even understand Bayes Theorem.


  2. Interesting view but I could not disagree more. Most great creations in the world are the result of intuition, inspiration, and also a great deal of mistakes and misunderstanding, not so many are actually the result of data analysis… let’s stop robotising our society and let humans who have imagination, intuition express themselves, lead innovation and then apply validation techniques using sciences when possible and not the way around. Even Einstein agreed that not everything that counts can be counted!!! It is easy to forget that science is also consistently denying previous findings which at the end makes it not more reliable than intuition.
    We should be proud of the human brain that creates fantastic shortcuts such as intuition, denying intuition is denying the amazing human skills in profit of a more machine approach to intelligence, which can be measured.
    Today something that cannot be measured is just simply ignored, that is why branding is underinvested in favor of volume conversion and long term profits are shrinking as a result. Bring back a consistent good story telling and profits will be up…
    Companies that will thrive tomorrow are those that will combine harmoniously data analysis and human creativity (which cannot really be measured), those that are tempted to remove human imperfect creative outputs will walk on one leg and trade behind. We need our both legs to walk.
    I do agree that you cannot make decisions entirely on intuitions but where to me your argumentation becomes fallacious is when you say you should never use intuition, as no one has found a better way to kick start a new way of thinking or approach than by following an intuition. By definition a real innovation is a rupture a disruption from what has been done in the past hence it is very hard to innovate based on data analysis, if it is really new there is no data…
    At a time where robots are becoming closer to humans it is our duty to develop what they do not have, ie intuition.
    So let’s keep the horses in front and not behind the car, and keep human intuition ahead of data validation. I also believe that will make us breathe better and happier…

    Thanks for bringing this topic here.


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