Louisenlund - Lernen, Leisten, Leben

What is intuition? - Theory of Knowledge (TOK) in our IB World School

Intuition is an incredible, but simultaneously vastly underrated ability everyone uses. However, ironically, only intuitively. So, when the question arose in our pre-IB Theory Of Knowledge lesson ‘what is intuition?’ the process of coming up with a definition was a lot more harrowing than expected. Nonetheless, 15 minutes of brainstorming we came to a consensus on a basic definition, in the direction of intuition being your brain accessing and applying information, without being conscious of doing so and that this process usually happens too fast to notice. One group also pointed out that intuition can also occur with something one has never encountered before. For example, a mother can notice intuitively that little details about her child are different than they usually are, which might point to an illness of some sort. However, she can not necessarily point a finger to what made her feel that her child was not okay. Which speaks for the fact that a ‘gut feeling’ is just another manifestation of your intuition. These hypotheses tie in perfectly with the ideas that Robert Kahneman explains in his book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ in which he divides our consciousness into two systems. System one is the fast, the intuitive, the reflex-based. System two is the slower, the calculating, the rational. In this model, intuition would tie in perfectly with system one.

Ben K. - Student Pre-IB