Intuition: The Intelligence of the Unconscious
In Western thought, intuition first reigned as the most trusted form of experience but has ended up scorned as a fickle and unreliable guide to life. In this talk, I address the century-old stereotypes about male versus female intuition that still exist in the general public, the reluctance of executives in large corporations to admit making gut decisions, and behavioral economists’ attempts to demonstrate that intuition is dubious and error-prone while celebrating logic and algorithms as the embodiment of rationality. In my own research, intuition emerges as a form of unconscious intelligence that, to a substantial extent, has yet to be matched by algorithms or deep neural networks.
Gerd Gigerenzer is Director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and partner of Simply Rational—The Institute for Decisions. He is former Director of the Adaptive Behavior and Cognition (ABC) Center at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and at the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich, Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago and John M. Olin Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Law at the University of Virginia. In addition, he is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the German Academy of Sciences and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Basel and the Open University of the Netherlands, and is Batten Fellow at the Darden Business School, University of Virginia. Awards for his work include the AAAS Prize for the best article in the behavioral sciences, the Association of American Publishers Prize for the best book in the social and behavioral sciences, the German Psychology Award, and the Communicator Award of the German Research Foundation. His award-winning popular books Calculated Risks, Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, and Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions have been translated into 21 languages. His academic books include Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart, Rationality for Mortals, Simply Rational, Bounded Rationality (with Reinhard Selten, a Nobel Laureate in economics), and Better Doctors, Better Patients, Better Decisions (with Sir Muir Gray). Gigerenzer has trained U.S. federal judges, German physicians, and top managers in decision making and understanding risks and uncertainties. The Swiss Duttweiler Institute has distinguished Gigerenzer as one of the top-100 Global Thought Leaders worldwide.