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Educating Intuition

Every day we make intuitive decisions—from the mundane choice of what clothes to wear to more important issues such as which new car "feels right" or which person would be "good" for a particular job. To varying degrees, logic plays a role in these decisions, but at a certain point all of us rely on intuition, our sixth sense. Is this the right way to decide? Should we trust our gut feelings? When intuition conflicts with logic, what should we do?

In Educating Intuition, Robin M. Hogarth lays bare this mysterious process so fundamental to daily life by offering the first comprehensive overview of what the science of psychology can tell us about intuition—where it comes from, how it works, whether we can trust it. From this literature and his own research, Hogarth finds that intuition is a normal and important component of thought that has its roots in processes of tacit learning. Environment, attention, experience, expertise, and the success of the scientific method all form part of Hogarth’s perspective on intuition, leading him to the surprising—but natural—conclusion that we can educate our sixth sense. To this end he offers concrete suggestions and exercises to help readers develop their intuitive skills and habits for learning the "right" lessons from experience.

Artfully and accessibly combining cognitive science, the latest research in psychology, and Hogarth’s own observations, Educating Intuition eschews the vague approach to the topic that has become commonplace and provides instead a wholly engaging and practical guide to enhancing our intuitive skills.

352 pages | 3 halftones, 7 line drawings, 7 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2001

Education: Psychology and Learning

Psychology: General Psychology


“[The author] expands previous work in two important and largely overlooked ways. Hogarth discusses the type of environments that lead to successful intuitions; and also provides the reader with guidelines for how to improve, or educate, intuition.”

Y. Hanoch and A. Wallin | Applied Cognitive Psychology

“Hogarth tackles a fascinating topic that has until now garnered little scientific attention. This ambitious book aims not only to define and explore the strengths and limitations of humans’ ‘sixth sense’ but also to discover how it can be improved.”

American Scientist

Table of Contents

1. The Sixth Sense
2. Models of Intuition
3. Acquiring Intuitions
4. People as Intuitive "Experts"
5. How Good Is Intuition?
6. A Framework for Understanding Intuition
7. A Framework for Developing Intuition
8. Further Issues and Challenges


Association of American Publishers: PROSE Book Award

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