Category Archives: Intuition

Intuition by Daniel Kahneman


The psychologist Gary Klein tells the story of a team of firefighters that entered a house in which the kitchen was on fire. Soon after they started hosing down the kitchen, the commander heard himself shout- Let’s get out of here, without realizing why. The floor collapsed almost immediately after the firefighters escaped. Only after the fact did the commander realize that the fire had been unusually quiet and that his ears had been unusually hot. Together, these impressions prompted what he called a sixth sense of danger. He had no idea what was wrong, but he knew something was wrong. It turned out that the heart of the fire had not been in the kitchen but in the basement beaneath where the men had stood.

We have all heard such stories of expert intuition, the chess master who walks past a street game and announces, white mates in three without stopping, or the physician who makes a complex diagnosis after a single glance at patient. Expert intuition strikes us as magical, but it is not.

Each one of us performs feats of intuitive expertise many times each day. Most of us are pitch-perfect in detecting anger in the first word of a telephone call, recognize as we enter a room that we were the subject of the conversation, and quickly react to subtle signs that the driver of the car in the next lane is dangerous.

From- Thinking fast & slow by Daniel Kahneman