The disconnection is mainly from lack of knowledge. Until 2000 intuition was not a serious study of science. The concept of emotional intelligence, created in the early 1980’s, does not even deal with it.
We lacked knowledge of the unconscious too. It plays a key role in intuition. Here too emotional intelligence is silent. Failure to know the unconscious is failure to know intuition.
Picture of Intuition and Cognition Working Together
The diagram shows how intuition and cognition work together. Feelings and emotions form intuition. This fuels thoughts. It gives them direction. We rationalize our wants. Cognition helps us put together the logic for reasons. We act.
A good analogy is radar. Seeing something on it is intuition. We do not know exactly what it is. We have an idea though. We know where it is. We know where to look.
Seeing it with our eyes though is cognition. We can now draw conclusions. We make decisions. We act.
Changes to How We See Decision Making
For most of the last century, we have based decision making on a rational actor model. Whenever people propose to weigh the pluses and minuses, they are using this model.
As we come to know the roles of intuition and cognition, this model falls out of favor more and more. People are not rational decision makers. We still see the model used much in economics though.
What is the change? Unless we know the emotions behind decisions, we really do not understand them or the decision maker.
All decisions have a strong intuitive foundation. For example, the choice to use science to prove things is based on our emotional need for security.
People often ask me how to know they are using their intuition. Any kind of guessing or filling in of the blanks is a good sign. A scene from Star Trek – The Next Generation helps too.
Intuition and cognition go hand in hand as night and day, rain and shine, and warm and cold do.