Can intuition be taught? YES

Pat Croskerry croskerry at EASTLINK.CA
Wed Aug 21 12:29:27 UTC 2013

Many would disagree that some forms of intuition are not innate. Nobel prize
winner Herbert Simon, described 'search satisficing'  many years ago in the
context of human evolution. Radiologists currently see it as a major
contributor to error. The idea that we evolved behaviours in our ancestral
past that persist into modern behavior is a major tenet of cognitive
evolutionary psychology theory. Dual process theorists see Type 1 intuitive
processes as multi-channeled, one of which is innate - Keith Stanovich has
recently described four main categories which include an innate one.
Certainly, other types of behaviours can be overlearned to the point where
they become reflexive and seen as 'intuitive'. When people talk about
intuitive decisions, they usually are not clear of their origins and this
may be important.

Given that much of the difficulty we get into with heuristics and biases
occurs in the intuitive mode, we need (as Stanovich has done) to start
thinking about what kind of intuitive decision we are dealing with.  The
next step, effective cognitive de-biasing, will likely depend on it. 


Pat Croskerry MD, PhD, FRCP(Edin)

Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, 

Director, Critical Thinking Program, Division of Medical Education,

Faculty of Medicine,

Dalhousie University,

QE II - Health Sciences Centre,





From: Sandra Tice [mailto:sandra.tice at MIPCORP.COM] 
Sent: Sunday, August 18, 2013 6:30 PM
Subject: Re: [IMPROVEDX] Can intuition be taught? YES


Research has shown that intuition is not innate -- it is a learned skill,
which means that it can be taught to others.  It is automatic thinking that
has become a part of a physician's unconscious mind through years of
experience.  Automatic unconscious thinking is often called intuition or
wisdom - the expert clinical reasoning that is required to accurately
identify and correctly use relevant knowledge, information, data and cues
from tacit interactions to consistently make the right judgments and


Not only can intuition be taught but we have been capturing and documenting
it so that it can be read, learned, improved and quickly transferred to
others.  This has been tested in medicine by a physician with over 35 years
of experience in emergency medicine who transferred his intuition to
residents and medical students.  Within several days, they were diagnosing
patients as if they had many years of experience.  Their average diagnostic
accuracy immediately improved by roughly 20% and the time required to
accurately diagnose a patient dropped from over 1 hour to less than 5


Sandra Tice

Cognitive Scientist & Managing Partner
Direct Phone: 773-975-6555
MIP Corporation



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