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|Print List Price:||£18.99|
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Intuition: Its Powers and Perils Kindle Edition
|Length: 337 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The concept of intuition is well defined throughout the book and David Myers investivates the powers, perils and various applications for intuition within our everyday lives.
The book extends to around 307 pages, but only the first 249 are really readable. The book does a great job of citing other sources and accurately recording other work and data. The remaining pages at the end of the book keep notes of all the sources. This is a great resource, and nice place to start for information on a variety of topics surrounding intuition.
Meyers uses a great writing style which is simple and easy to follow. The book is extremely easy to pick up and read for short or long periods of time. The content is well presented and Meyers makes some great points. I appreciated this book i think a little more because of a little previous reading on the subject of psychology. Many similar subject and topic matters came up and it helps to be able to correlate between them.
Much of the book is about intuition in reality and Meyers takes a big step in explaining away a lot of lifes little intuitive feelings, and putting the scientific explaination in place. But near the end of the book he brings back some of the spiritual connections. There are parts of the book which come accross as statistical nightmares, and one section relies heavily on americanised sports which can be a little tough to understand if you don't know much about baseball or basketball jargon.
A great read, and a great all-round book on the subject. Something best read with a tiny little psychology knowledge but also near the 'beginners guide' end of the scale.
WE KNOW MORE THAN WE KNOW WE KNOW
What is it anyway? David Myers explains that intuition is our capacity for direct knowledge, for immediate insight without observation or reason. In contrast, deliberte thinking is reasoning-like, critical, and anlytic. So there are two levels of thinking:
1. DELIBERATE THINKING: this level of thinking is conscious and analytical. It is very valuable because it helps us to focus on what is really important and protects us from having to think about everything at once. It is as it where the mind's executive desk.
2. INTUITION: this unconscious level is automatic. It seems, inside our minds there are processing systems that work without us knowing it. To use a metafor by David Myers: we effortlessly delegate most of our thinking and decisions making to the masses of cognitive workers busily at work in our minds's basement. These processes enables us, for instance, to recognize instantly, among thousands of humans, someone we have not seen in five years. We do know, but we don't know how we know.
WHAT WE KNOW, BUT DON'T KNOW WE KNOW, AFFECTS MORE THAN WE KNOW
Both ways of knowing are present within each person. Often they support eachother, sometimes they lead to conflicting conclusions. One thing is important: we tend to underrate how much of our actions are guided by unconsicous thinking. A vast proportion of our behavior is under control of unconscious perception and information processing. This 'automaticity of being' helps us through most of the situations we encounter (you type without consciously knowing where exactly the letters on your keyboard are; you'd have to 'ask your fingers` to know where they are). What's more, it is even so that we can process and be influenced by unattended information (for instance you had not noticed someone talking at a party until s/he mentioned your name, then you suddenly noticed this). Furthermore, we sometimes unconsciously continue processing information regarding problems (after having stopped trying to remember a name, we sometimes 'suddenly` remember it).
WE DON'T SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE, WE SEE THINGS AS WE ARE
Intuition is powerful and important and often it will pay to 'listen to your heart`. But intuition also often errs. An important example is that our theories and assumptions distort our perceptions and interpretations. For instance if we hold a stereotype about a certain category of people, we unknowingly tend to selectively perceive what they do. We tend to notice information that confirms the stereotype more readily than other information. This way, we tend to see our beliefs confirmed. Other examples of unrealistic intuition are: 1) hindsight bias ('I knew it all along'), 2) self-serving bias (accepting more responsibility for succeses that for failures), 3) overconfidence bias (we tend to intuitively assume that the way we perceive the world, so it is).
This is a great book for anyone interested in psychology and intuition. The material is presented very pleasantly and clearly. David Myers describes many interesting experiments that certainly will challenge your intuition (for instance some eye-opening experiments by the recent Nobel price winner psychologist Daniel Kahneman). Often these experiments will surprise you. Special attention is payed to the role of intuition in specific contexts like sports, investment, therapy, interviewing and risk taking. Psychology is still an interesting subject. This book is a clear reminder of that. ...
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
But far from being a well-defined mode of cognition, intuition has been a kind of catchphrase that is used to explain the ability to solve problems and reach goals without really knowing how. The apologists of intuition emphasize its ability to deal with issues and problems of a qualitative nature (the famous Einstein dictum that "not everything that counts can be counted"). In some extreme instances, enthusiasts of intuition think of it as a "power", the possession of which will give one distinct advantages, especially in the areas of business and finance. Indeed, there are the "intuitive" financial traders who boast of their abilities to foresee market trends that the "quants" cannot, and they do so without really quantifying just how much advantage their intuition has over more mathematical/algorithmic approaches to financial trading. Human intelligence in their view goes beyond mere logic, and can capture or "intuit" things that computational algorithms cannot. Business managers who make decisions based on their "gut feelings" are another example of the belief in the power of intuition. This reviewer knows of many instances where millions of dollars in revenue or capital expenditures have rested on the "gut feelings" of a senior manager, with disastrous consequences.
In this highly interesting work, the author discusses the pros and cons of intuition, and in doing so has given the reader an account of the subject that demystifies it and makes its contemplation and possible justification more palatable from a scientific point of view. That is not to say that the book is a scientific study for it is not, but it could be viewed as a precursor to such a study, which if done carefully would be extremely important and interesting. If there are elements of human (or for that matter nonhuman) intelligence that do not rely on logical or mathematical computations or processes, then the identification of these elements would assist those who are attempting to build non-biological thinking machines. A rigorous scientific study would isolate those patterns of thought and human actions that cannot be represented as a mathematical or algorithmic process and through laboratory investigations would justify how advantageous "intuition" is over more quantitative modes of thought. The field of cognitive neuroscience will no doubt shed even more light on the role of intuition as it advances in the decades ahead. If a book like this is written twenty years from now it might be considerably smaller in size, with only a few pages needed to discuss the role of intuition in problem solving since many more tasks will have been shown to be doable by machines. The trend seems to be in this direction.