in·tu·i·tion [in-tü-ˈi-shən] noun
A natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence : a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why
Intuition is Faster
Try to solve the following problem quickly:
A bat and ball together cost $1.10. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
In addition to throwing away information, the mind has to decide whether or not it should take shortcuts, depending on how it values speed against accuracy in a particular situation. Most of the time, the mind favors speed, interpreting events based on rules of thumb that are easy to apply but not always logical. What was your guess to the problem above?
In this study, more than 50% of students at Harvard, MIT, and Princeton gave the wrong answer. At less selective universities, the rate of failure was greater than 80%.
Mental shortcuts are very common; in fact, people are likely to use them in almost all situations unless they’re strongly cued that they should be using logic instead. Most of the time, the intuitive answer is good enough to get by, even when it is wrong. Most people give the intuitive answer of $.10, when it is really only $.05