Intuitive Intelligence comes from Canadian sociologist Malcolm Gladwell, who started from the concept of “thin-slicing”. This sociologist argues that we can give meaning to situations based on truly ephemeral experiences. Therefore, we also have the ability to determine what is most important in a very short time, even in the blink of an eye. Intuitive Intelligence improves our decision-making ability to solve problems quickly. This is a countercurrent concept, because we have always thought that making good decisions is necessary to reflect carefully, not to hurry and to analyze the pros and cons of the situation.
However, the truth is that in a society like ours, where there is a lot of information, sometimes having more data available is not always useful, but sometimes it can even confuse us or lead us to inertia. In fact, we all know that when we have many opportunities to choose from, our brain enters, and as it is no longer able to handle so much data, it simply avoids deciding.
In this regard, in a very interesting study conducted in Chicago, some physicians were asked to change the way they performed the diagnosis of heart attacks. The idea was to gather less information about their patients in order to intervene more quickly and take advantage of a couple of minutes of precious time. So, they would have to take blood pressure and make an electrocardiogram, omitting all the data in clinical history.
Of course, persuading doctors was not an easy task, as this procedure was against the pre-established rules. Likewise, it will never be easy to let ourselves be carried away from what we have always considered as an intuition, especially if we have to make important decisions that can decide our destiny.
Therefore, Intuitive Intelligence is to let knowing everything we already know at a conscious level in order to solve a problem and make decisions faster. It is not about reasoning but knowing how to listen to our unconsciousness and our emotions. In fact, while traditional intelligence involves some degree of reflection and elaboration, Intuitive Intelligence is based on the knowledge we have accumulated over the years and that we are kept in the unconscious.
Intuitive Intelligence as Reliable
Intuitive Intelligence has its foundations in the emotional brain. It is the oldest part of our brain, and is responsible for managing the main stimuli from the environment. In fact, when we are faced with situations that we need to solve immediately, a series of images related to the act concerned are activated. In turn, these images recall emotional, painful or pleasant memories that affect the decision to take.
For example, when we have to decide whether to give a second chance to our partner, inevitably, our memories of past relationships are activated in our minds. Those memories go in front of our eyes, like a movie, and the balance needle moves in one direction or another. If the experiences have been positive, it is likely we will decide to give it a second chance, if they are negative, maybe we will not.
This process occurs consciously, so we are generally able to explain the reasons for our decision. However, in some cases the process happens unconsciously. Below the threshold of consciousness, a pre-selection mechanism is activated, which takes care of examining the different options and deciding which ones will be sent to the conscience. In fact, this is the first selection mechanism, and it is commissioned to bring out only the most convenient options. So our rational brain will not be overshadowed by too many alternatives, by too many options that it is impossible to handle.
However, this mechanism ensures that the rational brain works better and is not obstructed, but it also protects us. In our emotional brain, our negative experiences are highlighted. Therefore, the brain is responsible for excluding all those options that could damage or reactivate somehow that pain.