Researchers at the University of Kent have established that just because people believe they are intuitive does not mean they actually are. A recent study showed that whether people believed they were highly perceptive or not was no indication of how well they could execute tasks which required intuitive skills.
For the study, psychologists Dr. Mario Weick and Stefan Leach distributed surveys to 400 people from the UK and the United States. The forms contained a series of questions to determine how intuitive the participants believed they were.
The volunteers were then asked to perform various tasks that involved learning unfamiliar and complicated associations between letters and images. There were patterns hidden in the associations, and the test was developed so that the underlying rules could be learned subconsciously by the participants.
The findings of the study revealed that people who considered themselves to be intuitive did not perform better on the test than people who did not think of themselves as intuitive. In addition, those who considered themselves to be highly perceptive did not grasp the rules any better than people who claimed to be less perceptive.
After the assessments, the researchers asked participants more specifically about their test performance and how confident they were that their intuitions were correct.
Once again, people with more confidence were no more accurate than those with less confidence in their abilities. 90 percent of those with high levels of confidence in his or her intuition did not perform any better than the other participants.
The study is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.