Interpretive essay topic
Write a paper on your own experience with intuition in the workplace or college so far. As a worker, or as a student, how aware are you of the intuitive cognition at play in your decision-making? Describe one instance in which your own intuition was at work, and reflect on what this intuitive moment may have been anchored in: assumptions, affects, cultural bias, or any other factor? You may not have perceived this instance as involving intuition before taking this course, so you may have to go down memory lane and reflect on the cognitive processes that led you to decisions in the past.
Your paper should make references to one or more of the readings for class. You may also wish to have a look at a dissertation titled Intuition and its Role in Strategic Thinking, submitted to the Norwegian School of Management. Here is the abstract:
“Even though intuition is recognized as imperative in strategic thinking management literatureis surprisingly silent on the issue. This inquiry thus provides an historical and hermeneuticreview of philosophical, psychological and management theory on intuition. It reveals thatphilosophers conceive intuition as rational while psychologists tend not to. Philosophers do soprimarily because intuition is anchored in Ideas, Forms and Archetypes, which are perceivedas a priori laws governing and conditioning all existence. The argument is that intuition is theontological foundation for any normative theory of rationality. Implications for the rationalitydebate are discussed.
Three levels of intuition are discerned and contrasted with analytical thinking. The first andsecond levels correspond to intuitions from the personal and collective unconsciousexperience respectively. They can be either introverted or extraverted. The third levelcorresponds to what some philosophers call the non-dual, integral state of mind.
An empirical study including personal interviews with 105 Norwegian top managers indicatethat in strategic thinking more emphasis is put on intuition than analysis, especially inexploration of new terrain and technology. They define intuition primarily in accordance withlevel one. In describing its key features they focus on foresight, new ideas and synthesis.Finally Myers Briggs Type Indicator® was applied, revealing that they have a strongpersonality preference for intuition.”
And here are the first two paragraphs of the Introduction:
“Why is it that philosophers define intuition as rational and superior to analytical thinkingwhile psychologists tend not to? Anyone acquainted with the heuristics and biases literaturehas noted that intuition is conceived as a largely unconscious, biased, automatic and effortlesscognitive process.1Those familiar with philosophy know that here intuition is consideredsupreme intelligence and according to Plato the apprehension of it, is rather to be thought ofas a revelation which can only follow upon a long intellectual training.2Indeed this is anintriguing issue. It is so to speak a Copernican reversal in our history of epistemology. Theobjective of this inquiry is to painstakingly track the evolution of this elusive concept from itsorigins to modern day folklore and in this way address the question: what is intuition?
More specifically I start by carving out the rationale applied by the philosophers revealingthat they provide a substantial body of theory on intuition. Being equipped with their coherentview on intuition, it is confusing to find a differing and fragmented view in psychology.Osbeck notes: “it suffers from vague and multiple uses of the term, association with diverseexperimental phenomena, and from minimal effort to integrate these in a consistent way.”3Nowonder management theory is silent on the issue. The problem however is that top managersrecognize intuition as pivotal in strategic thinking and decision making. An exploratory studyaiming at conceptual clarification may thus usefully inform the field of strategy. Thetheoretical inquiry is thus to serve also as a separate contribution.”
If you are interested, or wish to check out the bibliographic references, you may access this dissertation at