"We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we known and accept that - sometimes - we're better off that way."
Malcolm Gladwell - Blink
In chapter two of Malcolm Gladwell's excellent book, Blink he introduces the reader to Vic Braden, a tennis coach in his late 70's with an uncanny knack of being able to call a double-fault mid serve, before the racket even makes contact with the ball.?
He goes on to discuss gamblers who instinctively know which deck of cards to avoid and art historians who just sense that an artefact is a fake as soon as they clap eyes on it.
The interesting thing is that none of them can explain why they know what they know! They just know!
In an instant they are able to make snap judgements. We often dismiss this sort of insight because we have come through an education system that has encouraged us at every step of the way to back up and elaborate on our hunches with pages of facts and figures and complex spreadsheets supporting our claims.
We trust scientists because they can back up their claims.
I'm not suggesting we ignore the science, just that we tune into our hunches and gut feelings and embrace our ability to make a quick decision without always needing to produce a research paper to support it.
Source: Malcolm Gladwell - Blink