Intuition and Insight: What is the Difference?

There is a difference.

When we address tacit knowledge, intuition and insight come to the foreground. Sharing one common neuronal and cognitive basis, these two have a lot of differences. Particularly, they imply different information processing patterns and different roles of tacit knowledge. It takes quite a bit of theoretical and methodological research to distinguish between intuition and insight. Here is some from Research Centre for Brain Function and Psychological Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China.

Basic Differences

Generally, intuition is about choosing one of the two options and, in many ways, it involves a simple yes-or-no judgment. Contrary to that, insight goes deeper into the subject in question. These two complement each other, as intuition appears to be a complete and lasting judgment, and it is followed by insight, which is relatively spontaneous.

Second, both intuition and judgment process unconsciously activated information, except they do it in different ways. The former treats this information in such a way as to define the behavioral aspect of choosing between "yes" and "no". The latter treats the unconsciously activated information straightforwardly and implies conscious retrieval of "what it is" rather than "which one".

Research Status

It should be noted that the mechanisms of intuition and insight are still far from completely understood. There is quite a bit of uncertainty as to how closely these two are related to each other. Scientists have gained some MRI data proving that intuition and insight are governed by different regions of the brain. They are different cognition processes, and tacit knowledge plays different roles in them. To fully understand these mechanisms, scientists have to continue their effort to broaden the theoretical base for future research.

The methodological base needs to be extended too. The process should involve direct analysis of the work of the brain areas responsible for intuition and insight, with the help of, for example, neuronal imaging, encephalography, etc. The "coherent/incoherent triad" method can be used effectively, as it very helpful in understanding the mechanisms of intuition and insight.

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