Intuition in the context of implicit memory


Most recent work concerned with intuition has demonstrated that people can respond discriminatively to coherence that they cannot identify. Specifically, in a gestalt-closure task subjects were shown slides of paired drawings. One of the drawings represented a fragmented picture of a common object, whereas the other was constructed by rotation of the elements of the coherent gestalt. When the subjects were unable to name the object, they were urged to make a forced-choice decision regarding which of the two drawings represented a real object. The results showed that the proportion of pictures not correctly identified, that were nevertheless correctly selected as coherent, was significantly higher than chance. The current experiment replicated these findings. In addition, it was shown that a study phase with either coherent or incoherent picture primes can bias intuitive judgments in the test phase in accordance with a processing view. Incoherent-picture primes reduced the forced-choice decisions to a level of chance. Moreover, priming was found to be dependent on the similarity between the study and the test stimuli. We argue that a more fluent reprocessing of coherent, or primed, stimuli may be a basis for intuitive judgments. Intuition may go wrong when priming has favored an incoherent solution.

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Wippich, W. Intuition in the context of implicit memory. Psychol. Res 56, 104–109 (1994).

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  • Recent Work
  • Test Phase
  • Test Stimulus
  • Current Experiment
  • Real Object