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Intuition: Its Powers and Perils (Yale Nota Bene) Paperback – April 10, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
He begins by arguing that we have two parallel systems operating in our day to day lives, the conscious/rational system and the unconscious/intuitive system. The former is slow and deliberate, the latter is fast and sometimes inaccurate. He then details may of the ways in which our intuition proves incorrect in areas like geography, personal memories, individual competence, and foly physics. Myers ends the book with a long chapter about our intuition in medicine, job interviews, risk, and gambling.
Throughout the book, Myers repeats a theme popular since Tversky and Khanneman's papers in the 1970s: the human mind has predictable biases and innaccuracies on a host of logical puzzles and laboratory tests. As such, the book is basically a 249 page review article of the evidence against human rationality. While many of his examples are fascinating, there is no overall theory or mechanism given to account for this irrationality.
To take one example he uses, imagine a ball dropped from a plane. Most people intuitively feel that the ball should fall straight down, rather than along the correct parabolic path to the earth. Myers takes this as evidence of a faulted folk-physics. Unfortunately, despite this fault, people have no problem catching balls falling from great heights. Is it possible that our intuition is in fact robust and accurate within the domains where it is used, and only incorrect in the unusual situations of the laboratory? Myers only casually addresses this, but his evidence on competence developing at certain tasks and jobs indicates that this might be the case.Read more ›
Myers explains to some degree how we know...and why we are likely to be correct. This is well documented although perhaps not as thorough as Sources of Power or Strangers Unto Ourselves by Wilson. Nevertheless there is plenty of meat here.
Then he talks in much greater detail about how and when our intuition is likely to fail us. This is much more enjoyable reading and thorough in scope.
Myers gives a significant amount of attention to ESP, psychic intuition and gambling, all of which are evenly presented and well thought out.
If you have an interest in decision making, intuition, risk, and how we "think" this is a brilliant introduction.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not a comment on the content of the book. I think highly of David Myers and have not yet read the book, but expect it to be good. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Magidde
I loved this book - until i got to the end - his ramblings about God killed everything he wrote before it unfortunately. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Vanamali
This book is best described as parasitic, if not as outright plagiarism. Myers just strings together the research done by other -- and better -- authors such as Kahneman, Gilbert,... Read morePublished on June 18, 2014 by Royce P. Grubic
Daniel Goleman's book Intuition: Its Powers and Perils is a well drafted, very readable narrative on the latest research and findings related to intuition. Read morePublished on October 30, 2013 by MarianTheLibrarian
This is a book that every person engaged in business should read. Author David G. Myers outlines when it is useful for us to use our intuition and when it is dangerous for us to... Read morePublished on November 12, 2009 by Margaret Willson
An entertaining read and full of excellent insights into the workings of the human mind using evidence from a multitude of scientific studies, and the occasional anecdote. Read morePublished on August 29, 2009 by Vincent Quigley
Book was in "fair" condition - Obviously had been read by someone else. There underlining was evident along some stains on the book pages. Read morePublished on August 15, 2009 by Kathleen A. Quinn
This is an amazing book; it explains how and why we think and respond in ways that we do, and how much of our entire thought process takes place below the surface of our conscious... Read morePublished on March 16, 2007 by Karen Harvey