New Study Finds Intuition To Be A Matter Of Memories

February 9, 2009

US (ChattahBox) – Psychic’s had better watch out, it looks like intuitive guesswork may be a work of psychological mechanics after all common to all people.

A new study, performed at Northwestern University, , has found that most ‘gut feelings’ seem to actually be memories that we are unaware of on a conscious level, and that it may just be a matter of accessing that knowledge that we do not know we have.

“Unconscious memory may come into play, for example, in recognizing the face of a perpetrator of a crime or the correct answer on a test. Or the choice from a horde of consumer products may be driven by memories that are quite alive on an unconscious level,” explained Professor Ken Paller, of Northwestern’s Psychology Department.

The study used kaleidoscope images that subjects were asked to memorize, and then were asked to watch as they were distracted by the request to also remember spoken numbers, making it harder to memorize both.

“Remarkably, people were more accurate in selecting the old image when they had been distracted than when they had paid full attention,” Paller recalled.

“They also were more accurate when they claimed to be guessing than when they registered some familiarity for the image.”


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