Its Powers and Perils

David G. Myers

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How reliable is our intuition? How much should we depend on gut-level instinct rather than rational analysis when we play the stock market, choose a mate, hire an employee, or assess our own abilities? In this engaging and accessible book, David G. Myers shows us that while intuition can provide us with useful—and often amazing—insights, it can also dangerously mislead us.

Drawing on recent psychological research, Myers discusses the powers and perils of intuition when:

• judges and jurors determine who is telling the truth;
• mental health workers predict whether someone is at risk for suicide or crime;
• coaches, players, and fans decide who has the hot hand or the hot bat;
• personnel directors hire new employees;
• psychics claim to be clairvoyant or to have premonitions;
• and much more.

David G. Myers is John Dirk Werkman Professor of Psychology at Hope College.

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“Dr. Myers sharpened two awareness for me: First, the awareness of the awesome capacities of the human mind, and second, the awareness of the caveats for analytical thinking. I think it’s a great book. When it comes out, I want to get it for all of our researchers. It really helps you think through the conclusions that you’re coming to.”—Don Clifton, Chairman, Gallup International Research and Education Center, Past Chairman, The Gallup Organization, and Co-author, Now Discover Your Strengths

“Intuition is hot. But often it is perilously wrong. David Myers marshals classic and contemporary cognitive science and masterfully shows us why. For judges and jurors, clinicians and coaches, investors and intimacy-seekers—in fact for all who wish to change from knee-jerk gut wisdom to rational critical thinking as a basis for pondering or predicting behavior—Intuition is the one book to read.”—Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D., Past-President, American Psychological Society

"Entertaining, intelligent, and easy to read, Myers’s book offers an abundance of research findings dealing with what is more aptly called the ’nonconscious’ mind."—Choice

“Highly readable and engaging.”—Joachim Krueger, Contemporary Psychology

"A fascinating, easy-to-follow, even fun exploration. . . . In this instance, what intuition might at first dismiss as dust-dry subject matter provides a satisfyingly good, rational read for the intellectually thirsty."—Harriet P. Gross, Dallas Morning News

"A lively and thorough review of the powers and pitfalls of gut instinct."—Eric Bonabeau, Harvard Business Review

“Myers is not only a first rate textbook author, but also a master in bringing modern psychological research to a wider audience. . . . Myers not only succeeds in engaging laypersons and experts alike, but also communicates complex subjects with great facility and effectiveness. . . .This is a highly entertaining, exceedingly well-written book, which, to the novice, represents a powerful introduction into the scientific study of intuition, and to the scientist serves as inspiration to see connections between seemingly disparate phenomena that are kept neatly apart in the daily business of cognitive science.”—Markus Kemmelmeier, Human Nature

"Myers’ book brilliantly establishes intuition as a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry."—Michael Shermer, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"[Intuition is a book] that may help you make optimal use of your intuition. . . . [It] offers scientific grounding in the subject and practical steps for becoming more intelligently intuitive."—Money Magazine’s e-mail newsletter

“This is a superb book—informative, absorbing, insightful—and I highly recommend it. While full of results based on scientific research, it is nevertheless faith friendly. Its information will enable the reader to better grasp reality and move in the direction of much needed empirical intuition.”—Richard Ruble, Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith

“With humor and warm disinterestedness, Myers marshals cognitive research on intuition . . . or what is sometimes called ESP. . . . The book treats scientific method as an attractive intellectual tool and shuns ‘truth is personally constructed’ evasions; it is thus delightfully readable and deliberately provocative.”—Publishers Weekly

“Myers offers a quixotic guide to a psychological wonderland, confounding us with illusions, then leading us safely back to a form of rationalistic reality.”—Iain Finlayson, The Times

"Deserves broader attention from physician clinicians. . . . It is easy reading and manages to be, at the same time, informative and entertaining."—The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

Selected by Choice Magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2003
ISBN: 9780300095319
Publication Date: August 11, 2002
336 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
1 b/w illus.
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