Doctors in training experience these moments when the consultant appears to 'just know' what the problem is (of course, thinking you 'just know' is not the same as actually knowing!) Gary Klein, an expert on intuition, says that many people think of intuition as something you are born with. But there is no evidence that some people are blessed with intuition and others are not. Intuition grows out of experience. Or as Malcolm Gladwell puts it in his book 'Blink', it is 'thinking without thinking' - but actually the result of a vast databank of previous experiences.
Klein says there are many things experts see that are invisible to everyone else:
- Patterns that novices do not notice
- The big picture
- The way things work
- Events that either have already happened or are going to happen
- Differences that are too small for novices to detect
- Their own limitations
Klein G. Sources of Power. How people make decisions. MIT Press, 1998.
Gladwell M. Blink: the power of thinking without thinking. Penguin, 2006.