Is it rational to trust your gut feelings? Does it matter if you face a decision that is personal versus a decision you have at work? Does the amount and reliability of information prompt you to make a decision solely on logic and rationality, or does gut feeling still play a part? Are gut feelings defined as an emotion or something else? These are questions that have prompted a great deal of research and discussion for hundreds of years.
A Definition of Gut Feelings
Gut feelings can be defined as an instinct or intuition; an immediate or basic feeling or reaction without a logical rationale, an instinctive feeling, as opposed to an opinion based on facts. If you have a gut feeling about something, you are sure even though you cannot give reasons.
Gut feelings are also known as intuition.
Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning, or without understanding how the knowledge was acquired. Different writers give the word “intuition” a great variety of different meanings, ranging from direct access to unconscious knowledge, unconscious cognition, inner sensing, inner insight to unconscious pattern-recognition, and the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning. Some philosophers contend that the word “intuition” is often misunderstood or misused to mean instinct, truth, belief, and meaning, whereas others contend that faculties such as instinct, belief, and intuition are factually related. The word intuition comes from the Latin verb intueri translated as “consider” or from the late middle English word intuit, “to contemplate.”
In the East, intuition is mostly intertwined with religion and spirituality, and various meanings exist from different religious texts. In the West, intuition does not appear as a separate field of study, and early mention and definition can be traced back to Plato. In his book Republic he tries to define intuition as a fundamental capacity of human reason to comprehend the true nature of reality.