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Psychology: Intuition as a Cognitive Bias Essay

Cognitive biases and delusions are the characteristics of most people’s psychology. Quite often, different reasoning or decisions are made, which may be suitable for one context but misleading in another situation. As an object of analysis, intuition will be evaluated as one of the cognitive biases that manifest themselves throughout the entire stage of human life. In order to provide justification for certain judgments and theories, relevant academic sources will be involved. Intuition as a cognitive bias is the reflection of mental activity and is not always consistent with reality, which determines the belonging of this psychological phenomenon to a specific category.

Description of Intuition as a Cognitive Bias

Sometimes people have no opportunities to continue any action other than by following the hint of intuition. This property can also help to make a decision in those situations that a person has not met before. However, an intuitive hint that may be true is not always consistent with what the truth really is. According to Thompson, Pennycook, Trippas, and Evans (2018), the tendency to follow internal sensations is not a constant, and in different people, this quality is developed distinctively.

Consequently, approaches to the study of intuition involve a large number of hypotheses, but clear theoretical studies with accurate results are not typical for this topic. Nevertheless, Patterson (2017) argues that, in many cases, unconscious motives direct people’s behavior and their decision-making process.

Perception may be distorted by the fact that a person overestimates the likelihood of some events and underestimates the likelihood of others. If certain feelings and emotions are perceived as interrelated, it does not guarantee an unconditional correlation. In their research on behavior and perception, Pennycook, Cheyne, Koehler, and Fugelsang (2016) state that “rapidly accessible intuitive responses typically dominate reasoning, perhaps because humans have evolved to conserve mental resources” (p. 341).

Human consciousness that develops along with other systems adapts through the acquisition of new experience. Accordingly, intuitive properties are caused by appropriate behavioral patterns that people encounter. For instance, as Hodgkinson and Sadler-Smith (2018) note, in the area of organizational management, “intuitive processing and deliberative processing are both rule-based,” which confirms the prevalence of the considered theory about the established stereotypical ways of thinking (p. 480). Moreover, Yu (2016) remarks that in stressful situations, people tend to rely on unconscious decisions, thereby proving the relevance of the considered cognitive bias. Therefore, the concept of intuition is broad and can be studied in relation to different areas.

Personal Experience

I had to catch myself on the considered bias because, like most people, I sometimes tend to trust my intuition and rely on inner feelings rather than logic and rationality. As a child, when I played with my friends, we often made decisions and resolved disputes by tossing a coin. At that time, I learned that intuition might be false, and if, for example, heads fell out three times in a row, it did not mean that tails would be next. My motivation was passion and the desire to prove to myself and others that I could guess correctly. Such enthusiasm was erroneous, and since I caught that bias, I have tried not to rely on the regularity of cases.

Another situation when I relied on intuition occurred during high school years. For one of the exams, I learned only half of the questions proposed for preparation. I expected that I would be able to get one of those topics that I knew well enough. In the end, when I had to answer the theme that I almost did not know, I realized that my expectations were false and unreasonable. I motivated myself with the mathematical arguments of probability, while the real situation did not suggest that I could get the desired topic. Since then, I have not tried to rely on intuition when making crucial decisions and preparing for important events.

Finally, another situation associated with excessive confidence in personal intuition took place at one of the cultural events. My friends invited me to the club that had a good reputation. After coming there, I remembered that I had left my wallet with credit cards in my jacket pocket in my wardrobe. However, I did not have an idea to come back for it since I trusted the club’s security intuitively. As a result, my wallet was stolen, and I blamed myself for what happened since I relied on inner confidence once again and did not take into account other factors. Since then, I have kept valuables with me and trust only safe locks.

Relevance of the Report to the Course

Both the performed analysis and compiled report are relevant for the course due to theoretical findings and personal real-life examples. Using information from academic resources, it is possible to identify the prerequisites of intuition as one of the frequent cognitive biases and determine those factors that influence unconscious human motives. For instance, according to Pennycook et al. (2016), the intuitiveness of actions is nothing more than following accumulated experience and behavioral habits, which is the object of the study of the social sciences.

Also, on the basis of scholarly findings, it can be concluded that the comparison of unconscious motives with suitable real-life situations is the significant aspect of the analysis. Hodgkinson and Sadler-Smith (2018) argue that no one should call intuition “lazy thinking,” “degraded deliberative processing,” or another term implying a dismissive attitude (p. 490). Accordingly, in the context of research value, this topic is suitable for analysis and is the relevant theme of the course.

The significance of this report is also determined by personal examples and experiences where intuition was involved. Throughout life, any person is faced with decision making, and in some cases, unconscious motives play a key role, prompting certain actions. When evaluating all the considered examples and conclusions, it can be noted that my experience confirms the fact that intuitiveness is the quality that manifests itself at different ages and, as a rule, does not depend on any external circumstance.

Regardless of social status, gender, and other factors, following internal sensations is the typical feature of most individuals. Reasoning on the fact that many decisions are based on false truths and wishful thinking characterizes a human nature accurately enough. Therefore, all the work aimed at disclosing the features of intuition as one of the cognitive biases is relevant in the context of the course.


Intuition is one of the common cognitive biases and that people have. Based on the analysis of this psychological factor, many decisions made are grounded on false ideas and emotions but not rationality. My personal examples prove that temporal motivation and situationality are essential aspects that influence the adoption of intuitive decisions. The relevance of the conducted report for the course is explained by the significance of the theoretical findings and the correspondence of the examples to the topic under consideration.


Hodgkinson, G. P., & Sadler-Smith, E. (2018). The dynamics of intuition and analysis in managerial and organizational decision making. Academy of Management Perspectives, 32(4), 473-492. Web.

Patterson, R. E. (2017). Intuitive cognition and models of human-automation interaction. Human Factors, 59(1), 101-115. Web.

Pennycook, G., Cheyne, J. A., Koehler, D. J., & Fugelsang, J. A. (2016). Is the cognitive reflection test a measure of both reflection and intuition? Behavior Research Methods, 48(1), 341-348. Web.

Thompson, V. A., Pennycook, G., Trippas, D., & Evans, J. S. B. (2018). Do smart people have better intuitions? Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(7), 945-961. Web.

Yu, R. (2016). Stress potentiates decision biases: A stress induced deliberation-to-intuition (SIDI) model. Neurobiology of Stress, 3, 83-95. Web.

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