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Intuitive decisions on the fringes of consciousness

Author(s): Mark C. Price | Elisabeth Norman

Journal: Judgment and Decision Making
ISSN 1930-2975

Volume: 3;
Issue: NA;
Start page: 28;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: intuition | feeling | fringe consciousness | metacognition | two-systems model | decision making | judgment.

Decision making research often dichotomises between more deliberative, cognitive processes and more heuristic, intuitive and emotional processes. We argue that within this two-systems framework (e.g., Kahneman, 2002) there is ambiguity over how to map the System 1/System 2 axis, and the notion of intuitive processing, onto the distinction between conscious and non-conscious processes. However the convergent concepts of experience-based metacognitive judgements (Koriat, 2007) and of fringe consciousness (Mangan, 1993) can clarify intuitive processing as an informative extit{conscious feeling} without conscious access to the antecedents of the feeling. We stress that these intuitive feelings can be used to guide behaviour in a controlled and contextually sensitive manner that would not be permitted by purely non-conscious influences on behaviour. An outline is provided for how to empirically recognise these intuitive feelings. This is illustrated with an example from research on implicit learning where intuitive feelings may play an important role in peoples' decisions and judgements. Finally we suggest that our approach to understanding intuitive feelings softens rather than reinforces the two-systems dichotomy.
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