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Belief in One's Intuition May Not Track Performance

Belief in One’s Intuition May Not Track Performance

New research finds that a person’s belief in their intuitive skills does not appear to match their performance in tasks that require intuition.

Psychologists at the University of Kent found that the extent to which people feel confident about, and endorse, their intuitions may often not provide an indication of how good their intuitions actually are.

Researchers Dr. Mario Weick and Stefan Leach, of the university’s School of Psychology, asked 400 people from the U.K. and U.S. to complete a questionnaire to find out how much of an intuitive person they were.

They then required the study participants to perform a series of tasks that involved learning new and complex associations between letters and images.

The associations followed certain patterns and the task was designed in a way that encouraged learning of the underlying rules without people realizing this was happening.

Investigators found that people who described themselves as intuitive did not perform better and had no superior grasp of the rules than people who did not think of themselves as intuitive.

The researchers also asked participants more specifically about the task they performed and how confident they were that their intuitions were accurate.

They found that this task-specific measure was weakly related to performance.

In fact, they found that in 90 percent of the cases, someone with high levels of confidence in his or her intuition would have not performed any better than someone with low levels of confidence.

The paper appears in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Source: University of Kent/EurekAlert

Belief in One’s Intuition May Not Track Performance

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Belief in One’s Intuition May Not Track Performance. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 1 Aug 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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