Steve Jobs once said that intuition is more powerful than intellect. As it turns out, Jobs was onto something, and the scientific community backs him up. It seems that we've been giving intuition far too little respect.
"Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next." – Jonas Salk
In a Salk Institute study, participants were asked to play a card game where they pulled cards from two different decks. The decks were rigged so that one would "win" more often than the other, but the participants didn't know that—at least, not overtly. It took about 50 cards for participants to consciously realize that the decks were different and about 80 to figure out what that difference was. However, what was really interesting was that it only took about 10 cards for their palms to start sweating slightly every time they reached for a card from the "losing" deck. It was about that same time that they started subconsciously favoring the "winning" deck.
While that's all very interesting in a clinical setting, you have to ask yourself if it holds true in real life. Apparently, it does. When it comes to making major decisions, your intuition can matter just as much as your intellect.
In one study, car buyers who relied on careful analysis of all of the available information were happy with their purchases about 25 percent of the time, while buyers who made quicker, more intuitive purchases were happy with their purchases about 60 percent of the time.
Intuition comes from the primitive brain; it's an artifact of the early days of man when the brain's ability to detect hidden dangers ensured our survival. These days, we use this capability so little that we don't know how to listen to it properly.