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Can people judge the veracity of their intuitions?

Leach, S. and Weick, S. (2018) 'Can people judge the veracity of their intuitions?', Social psychological and personality science., 9 (1). pp. 40-49.


People differ in the belief that their intuitions produce good decision outcomes. In the present research, we sought to test the validity of these beliefs by comparing individuals’ self-reports with measures of actual intuition performance in a standard implicit learning task, exposing participants to seemingly random letter strings (Studies 1a-b) and social media profile pictures (Study 2) that conformed to an underlying rule or grammar. A meta-analysis synthesising the present data (n = 400) and secondary data by Pretz, Totz, and Kaufman (2010) found that people’s enduring beliefs in their intuitions were not reflective of actual performance in the implicit learning task. Meanwhile, task-specific confidence in intuition bore no sizable relation with implicit learning performance, but the observed data favoured neither the Null hypothesis nor the Alternative hypothesis. Together, the present findings suggest that people’s ability to judge the veracity of their intuitions may be limited.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Intuition, Implicit learning, Meta-cognition, Meta-analysis.
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.
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Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Date accepted:02 March 2017
Date deposited:18 September 2018
Date of first online publication:31 July 2017
Date first made open access:18 September 2018

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