Most of us, if not all of us, have believed in the past that we know something, without it being based on logic but on a particular sense that what we believe is really true. When the feeling that we know something is more instinctive and not based on logical processing, then we can characterize this feeling as “intuition”.
In fact, intuition is a common process of the human brain, but its influence can be kept under control by analytical thinking, which usually comes second. For example, when we walk on the street late at night and hear a sudden noise, our intuition may be that someone is following us, but after further examination of the situation we understand that this noise was caused by something that is not dangerous, such as a cat looking for food in a trash can.
Complex situations, which require more concentration on analytical thinking to resolve, can lead us to “take a step back” and look at the initial intuition we experienced, and potentially reject our intuition if our analytical thinking comes in contrast to it.
However, intuition can also lead to a desired result, so attention to it is not completely discouraged, even in risky situations. For example, there have been reports from the health sector where doctors or nurses have been able to avoid the fatal outcome of a medical problem through their intuition – while a patient’s condition seemed to be going well, specialist intuition led to more intensive follow-up of the situation, which proved to be a savior.
One possible explanation for this type of intuition is that it comes from various stimuli associated with a condition, but we are not consciously aware of these indications. However, the human brain perceives these signs and processes them, sometimes leading us to think that we know something, without finally understanding the reason. The same can be said for the “premonition”, which we define as the feeling that something specific is going to happen in the future, which we feel without it being based on the conscious logical processing of information. On the contrary, a premonition may be due to the unconscious conclusion of our brain, which has processed various information and completed the “puzzle” prematurely for us.
Based on the above information, when can we trust our intuition or a premonition? The answer is that we cannot be absolutely sure whether our intuition or premonition is correct. However, we can follow the procedure below, which may help us to decide more easily how to do it:
Initially, we experience an intuition or a premonition of a situation.
We process this feeling and understand it.
We consider whether this feeling is not based on reality or whether it is based on real information about the specific situation, which we try to identify and reflect on.
Finally, we conclude what is the importance of the intuition or premonition we experienced and we decide how much this will influence our decisions.
Writes Mr. Papaioannou Dimitrios, BSc Psychological Science