Can intuition be taught or learned?

I was asked this question on Quora today: Can intuition be taught or learned?

My answer:

It’s easy to run into problems of semantics on this. When talking about intuition, what one person means when they use the word ‘taught’ or ‘learn’ is often quite different to what another person understands.

Intuition – which is basically a sense of what to do or believe based on instinctive, faster-than-conscious reactions – becomes more accurate and thus helpful as your familiarity with some aspect of life increases. What your instincts urge is based on progressively better information and so it will gradually become more appropriate to gaining what you want. But it is the information about the circumstances that is improving, not your innate intuitive faculty.

This is equivalent to pointing out the obvious that it is easier to appear intelligent about things you know about than things you don’t know about. It is also easier to be intuitive about things you know about than things you don’t know about.

This is what is actually improving when most people say that their intuition is getting better.

It is also obvious that one can make a study of their intuition and get a better sense of when to listen to it and when not. In exactly the same way that we all learn how well to trust our sense of balance or our aptitude for numbers. You learn when to rely on them and when not to. So this is another form of “learning” about intuition which results in better choices, but the innate intuitive faculty hasn’t improved any more than your sense of balance has improved unless you undergo special training designed to improve it.

Finally, yes, it is also possible to awaken dormant instincts so that the wisdom of your intuition steadily and permanently improves. However, most people don’t know how to do this – even if they claim that they do. They simply appear to be improving intuition in the ways described above.

For more information on actually improving the intuitive faculty itself, see my Great Instincts blog.

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Posted September 24, 2016 at 5:12 pm by Gus Griffin · Permalink
In: Misc