WOK 4: Intuition

Project Journal

Divya Rath

William Hutsell, Shivani Bathija, Ansar E.

March 5, 2017 to March 25, 2017

WOK Badge: Intuition

"Knowing Something Out Of Nothing"

3/5/2017: We were assigned our fourth WOK last week; this topic is on intuition. Since we are going to be in London during the week this WOK is due, our badge group has a special project we're doing on our trip. We discussed possible ideas with Mr. Morrison the Friday before we left, and I think the direction we're taking is that we are going to read Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink" since Mr. Morrison recommended it to us for intuition. I looked over it today, and I really think it will be an interesting read.

3/7/2017: Today, after our outings, we met in the lobby of our hotel and began discussing intuition right off the bat. We had read a few of the key points in the textbook before coming, so this bit of preparation definitely helped us with our discussion. We first started off by trying to define intuition by ourselves without referencing a clear-cut definition; I guess you could say that we tried to define intuition intuitively. After a few minutes of debate, we finally came to the conclusion that intuition is a subconscious analysis and is essentially the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning. After checking online with the TOK subject guide, we found that our definition was indeed correct. Then, we decided on a knowledge question from our WOK Intuition Doc Guide; we ended up choosing "Why are some people considered more intuitive than others?" We then proceeded to investigate different factors that could affect a person's intuition such as intelligence, life experience, and just a better innate sense. We compiled our discussion onto a google doc and began brainstorming ideas for our presentation. Hopefully our discussions will culminate in a good presentation!

3/8/2017: Today we discussed in depth regarding Malcolm Gladwell's novel "Blink", and the ideas associated with it. While discussing the book, we all realized that we remembered two key incidents: One, regarding the idea of a gambler; a series of cards containing a clear pattern was shown to two people who were unaware that the cards had a pattern. One was a professional gambler and the other was not, and the pattern was recognized faster by the gambler. We found that this occurred because the gambler had experience in seeing patterns and drew on his experience to faster reach a conclusion. His intuition naturally told him to look for patterns whereas the intuition of the non-gambler didn’t suggest to look for a pattern immediately. The second example was regarding a person's intelligence. Two teens, each 18 years old, were assumed to have had the exact same experiences throughout life. We concluded (after some debate) that the intelligent person would be more intuitive because intelligence can be seen as the presence and efficiency of neurons. The subconscious mind uses the same neurons as the conscious mind, meaning that the intelligent person should have the more efficient subconscious, which therefore means they have more accurate and better intuitions. From these two examples, we formed a structure of our presentation: we'd discuss our knowledge question, distinguish two ways that people could be more intuitive than others and then provide these two examples as real world situations. I feel more prepared for this presentation, and hopefully it goes well!

3/10/2017: Elective Reading: I read the excerpt recommended by Mr. Morrison regarding Blink. The entire issue was so interesting to read about; I find it absolutely insane that a few people's intuition that have been honed so well could detect an abnormality in the statue while Getty's scientists spent 14 months researching and collecting evidence that supposedly proved the statue's worth. It was definitely very relevant to our knowledge question because it showed exactly what we were trying to demonstrate: Evelyn Harrison, the world renowned sculpture expert, had had so much experience that her intuition could tell right off the bat that something was wrong with the art piece. This two second judgement definitely came subconsciously, but the amount of exposure she had to previous antique sculptures definitely played a role in her ability to find "something wrong" with the statue. overall the excerpt was a very relevant and an interesting read, and I hope to finish the entire novel to gain some great insight into intuition.

3/18/2017: I'm back in class now, and found out that we do not have to present our findings but instead write a structured TOK paragraph regarding our WOK. I read one of the elective readings from "blink", and I think as a real life example, it would work great with the explanation I have to give in my paragraph. I sat down today and wrote part of it, in a short run. It was kind of rushed, but hopefully I can use it as a draft.

3/24/17: I finished my paragraph! This counts for the presentation so hopefully I do relatively ok on the assignment. It was interesting to write about our WOK instead of just doing a presentation on it. Through writing the paragraph I learned a lot regarding intuition and its pros and cons, and it was very interesting to view how someone's initial intuition could prove to be correct in the face of many years of research; it's just an interesting concept in general. Through this process I definitely honed my writing skills a bit as well; the discordant vibe of the paragraph's structure took a bit of getting used to but I think it ultimately made sense after I finished writing. I utilized the Google Doc as a bit of a reference guide while writing the paragraph as well, so discussing the WOK proved to be very helpful in this aspect. Hopefully I am able to convey my viewpoint to Mr. Morrison through my writing.

Knowledge Questions Encountered During this WOK

Why are some people considered more intuitive than others?

Should you trust your intuition?

When is it best to disregard your intuition as a source of knowledge?

Extension Proposal

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/intuition-may-reveal-where-expertise-resides-in-the-brain/

This resource was definitely a quite interesting read. Not only does it discuss the reliability of intuition, it also talks about we can utilize this way of knowing to decipher we gain the ability to use it as a way of knowing, if that makes sense. In the article is a large amount of scientific analysis being to show how intuition works, and I thought it was a great perspective to have by questioning the process by which we analyze things. Hopefully we can add this to our arsenal of resources!

Information on Intuition Shared Google Doc

Intuition: a subconscious analysis; Relies on previous knowledge; Never 100% original; Instincts play a role; could be knowledge given to you by nature ; based on Impulses, not thought; Unreliable; Just a gut feeling :(; Does not happen at the conscious level or subconscious level; Determined by Intelligence; Something that indirectly influences intuition

Smart = Comparatively better at conscious analysis; You being more intelligent allows you to analyze your past experiences better, which in turn allows for better intuition; Allows for you to use more or less of your past experiences

Experience: Directly affects your ability to “intuition”; Emotion indirectly influences intuition;

Presentation: First state knowledge question and define intuition: a subconscious analysis; the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning: a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning

Provide Gambling/Memory/Experience Example: A series of cards containing a clear pattern was shown to two people who were unaware that the cards had a pattern. One was a professional gambler and the other is not. The pattern was recognized faster by the gambler. This is because the gambler had experience in seeing patterns and drew on his experience to faster reach a conclusion. His intuition naturally told him to look for patterns whereas the intuition of the non-gambler didn’t suggest to look for a pattern immediately.

Demonstrate Intelligence/Teenager Example: Two teens, each 18 years old, are assumed to have had the exact same experiences throughout life. The intelligent person is going to be more intuitive. This is because intelligence can be seen as the presence and efficiency of neurons. The subconscious mind uses the same neurons as the conscious mind, meaning that the intelligent person should have the more efficient subconscious.

Drafts for Paragraph

DRAFT 1: I worked on the first part of the paragraph today, and just kind of speed wrote the entire thing. It's not that great, but it's a starting point!

Some people are considered more intuitive than others because they have had enough experience to demonstrate that their intuition is more accurate in certain situations. When the Getty scientists purchased the Kouri statue, they spent 14 months debating on whether the statue was a real piece of art, and came to the conclusion that it was indeed real. However, when one of the world’s finest sculpture experts, Evelyn Harrison came to see the statue, she instantly remarked that something seemed wrong with it, even though she had no idea what that “something” was.

DRAFT 2: Here I wrote the last part of the paragraph because I was able to see the connection between the Real Life Example and my Knowledge claim quite easily.

A way of developing accurate intuitions is experience combined with quick feedback. This idea makes itself very apparent in Harrison’s initial intuitive assessment of the Kouri’s fakeness, which conflicted with the conclusion of 14 months of research of the Getty’s scientists. Harrison’s judgement proves that people who have had more experience (as she was a renowned expert) tend to have more accurate intuition.

FINAL: Certain people are considered more intuitive than others because they have had enough experience to hone their intuition to be more accurate. When the Getty scientists purchased the Kouri statue, they spent 14 months debating on whether the statue was a real piece of art, and initially came to the conclusion that it was indeed real. However, when one of the world’s finest sculpture experts, Evelyn Harrison came to see the statue, she instantly remarked that something seemed wrong with it, even though she had no idea what that “something” was. Later, after many arguments at an symposium, details regarding the statue’s authenticity emerged and proved its fakeness. Although Harrison’s intuitive judgement was correct, her feeling presupposed a great deal of hard work, and took much debate to prove correct. The key to developing expert intuitions is experience combined with quick clear feedback. This idea is very apparent in Harrison’s initial intuitive assessment of the Kouri’s fakeness, which conflicted with the conclusion of 14 months of research of the Getty’s scientists. Harrison’s judgement proves that people who have had more experience (as she was a renowned expert) tend to have more accurate intuition, even in the face of others who have utilized reason to come to another conclusion.

Extra Resource

I was reading about intuition online and happened to stumble upon this experiment. I thought it was very interesting, and thought I should include it in my portfolio because it was definitely a way for me to gain more knowledge about this WOK as a whole. I think it's great that researchers are trying to find a clear cut way of measuring how people "intuit" something, and I cannot wait to see where the rest of their research goes!

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/minds-business/intuition-its-more-than-a-feeling.html#.WNghQXTysU0

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