#47 from R&D Innovator Volume 2, Number 7 July 1993
Test For Intuition
Dr. Cappon is a physician in psychological medicine and Professor of Environmental Studies at York University, Ontario, Canada. He wrote a book, Intuition (Bedford House Press, 1991), and developed a board game based on his Intuition Quotient Test. www.informedliving.com
What follows is
the heart of a protracted endeavor to demythologize intuition.
Compared with conscious reasoning, intuition is the older
and greater capacity of human intelligence and is the secret of
success in most human endeavors.
(See my, "Intuition from Instinct," R&D
Innovator, Vol. 2, No. 2.)
There are two reasons for this work.
The first is to wrestle this gift of human intelligence out
of the grasp of metaphysics and parapsychology and place it firmly
where it belongs: in
scientific psychology. The
second is to develop tools by which intuition can better be used.
looking for measurable tests to compare intuitive capacity, just
as various tests compare Intelligence Quotients.
I want to develop an assessment for intuition, the
Intuition Quotient (IQ2). Although
a highly intuitive person will have a high IQ2 overall, certain
intuitives will have a cluster or an individual skill score higher
than other intuitives.
The test is in
its early phase, and must be validated, modified and continually
improved. While this
initial foray into measuring intuitive capacity will be far from
perfect, it’s a step we must take to learn more about such an
important human quality. Certainly, effective scientists and technologists have a
well-developed intuition. Can
it be further improved? Can
others improve their intuitive capacities?
Capacity for Intuition
I define the
capacity for intuition in terms of some skills: half are passive “input” skills—and half are active
“output” skills. These
skills test the ability to access intuition.
When this capacity is activated, the resulting
process of intuition
helps determine behavior.
These skills can
be enumerated in a hierarchical order from perceptual to
cognitive, and thence to the higher levels of skills like
foresight, hindsight, and decision making.
The skills tested
by IQ2 include:
Quick eyes and seeing through things—like spotting danger
in an eye-blink and seeing hazard through fog.
Finding things fast—like finding a familiar face in a
Seeing the big picture—by looking at its fragments.
Estimating time, dimensions, or weight—without the use of
tools or machines.
Knowing what you never realized that you know—like
understanding words from a foreign language.
Passive imagination—measured by the number and frequency
of images coming to mind.
Foresight—anticipation of an event.
Hindsight—understanding the cause of something without
having all the details.
Having a hunch—the initial and likely answer to a
Knowing the best way to reach a solution.
Knowing the best application of a discovery.
Knowing the best time to intervene—in the stock market,
Knowing the meaning of things—like the significance of a
Having an active imagination—images readily come to mind
when stimulated by objects or a picture.
Having skill at sorting—what does and does not go
The IQ2 is meant
to measure all these skills in both an aggregated total and a
disaggregated (by cluster or skill) numerical score. The instrument is ultimately meant to yield a reliable and
valid measure of intuitive intelligence.
True intuitives are only credible in the area of a
person’s experience and expertise.
Because we see
objects rapidly and because imagery is information economically
packaged, the test is totally visual.
A laser video shows 350 pictures on a screen.
Because the IQ2 tests the oldest and most central part of
intelligence, it asks all the fundamental questions in a language
(what, how, when, etc.); the objects shown represent the universe
of familiar objects (animate and inanimate).
The types of questions are basic to everyday life and
survival, primitive or archetypal—like the discovery of fire,
shelter, the use of food and medicines.
To score, the
pictures are shown in sequence which gives progressively more
clues about the answer. For
instance, the first picture in a series might show a devastated
area with hills above a valley, and ask:
What did this? The
picture was of an actual scene after a volcanic explosion.
The choices to the IQ2 test taker are:
logging, forest fire, diseased trees, volcano, or
chemicals. The next
two pictures provide incremental clues, and last shows an
atomic-like explosion as from a volcano.
The person who “knew” that the volcano was the cause
from the first picture would score four, the person who realized
the correct answer from the clue in the next picture would get
three, and so on. Anyone who missed after all the clues would score zero.
Value of IQ2
Now that several
hundred people have taken the test, it is being validated
experimentally, at first against people’s self assessment and
other’s assessments as high, average or low intuitives and who
have a similar range of success at work and at home.
The final validation will be against a normative population
seen by themselves and others as varying in intuition and also
measured against the measures of success I am currently devising.
A validated IQ2
would help answer such questions as:
Does everyone have intuition?
Do women have more than men?
How do you tell the difference between a lucky guess and
intend to work on the metrics of success with individuals, groups,
and organizations. I’ll
define success in several ways.
For instance, in private or work life, in the individual or
an organization. Criteria for success include efficiency, productivity,
profitability, effectiveness, satisfaction, and health. I’ll try
to relate IQ2 data to professional success and to determine the
relationship of success to IQ scores and IQ2 scores.
application for this work lies in human resources, measuring the
effects of intuition training and maximizing the application of
intelligence to all its vital functions for a person or an
organization. These applications include decision-making in science,
technology, business, and the arts, as well as in everyday life.
scientific validation of measurement applies a stamp of approval
to intuition, this jewel in the crown of intelligence will not
play its necessary role in a world where life is becoming more
difficult and where planetary survival is truly at risk.
That’s why I'm devoting so much effort to the test and