I recently read the book “Blink, the power of thinking without thinking“, by Malcolm Gladwell. A book about the magic of experts’ intuition. The book left me with big questions on expertise and intuition, so I had to dig deeper. I am convinced that experts’ intuition is not always reliable, what I found is that it depends on the domain of expertise and the expert’s experience in the domain.
In this post I summarize 2 approaches to intuition:
- Naturalistic Decision-Making (NDM)
- Heuristics and Biases (HB)
The confrontation of these 2 approaches results in 3 conditions for reliable intuition, abbreviated as REF:
For starters, we define intuition as the ability to detect a pattern and solve problems rapidly, without relying on conscious reasoning.
Two Approaches to Intuitive Expertise: NDM vs. HB
The first approach to intuitive expertise is naturalistic decision-making (NDM). It is focused on the decisions made in real life by experienced people such as firefighting commanders, nurses, chess-masters, etc. NDM aims at demystifying the intuition by searching for the cues that led to the expert judgment.