“Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect," Steve Jobs once said.
And recent scientific evidence, as it turns out, shows that Jobs was right—we give our intuition far less attention than we should.
In one study performed by the Salk Institute, participants played a card game where they drew cards from two different decks. One was rigged so that it would “win” more often, but participants weren’t explicitly told so. On average, participants took about 50 cards before realizing that the decks were different and 80 before determining what the difference was. But what really interested researchers was that after the first 10 cards, the participants' hands would start sweating every time they drew from the "losing deck." And, simultaneously, they started to subconsciously favor the "winning" deck.
And while this example supporting the importance of intuition was just a lab experiment, real world evidence suggests that we should be following our gut feelings more, too. One study showed that car buyers who carefully analyzed all the available information before making a purchase decision were satisfied only 25% of the time, while intuitive buyers were happy 60% of the time.
Intuition isn't something that can be trained easily through reading a textbook or solving math problems like intellect can. But luckily, there are some habits that can help us become more intuitive people.
First, intuitive people often reserve time away from their busy lives to slow down and listen to their thoughts. They also follow their inner voice, using their analytical sides to double check their gut feelings instead of to talk themselves out of their intuitive choice.