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The development of an intuitive cognitive style process model

By Jennifer Otto


Intuitive cognitive style has a long history describing the role of physical sensations (also known as gut feelings) as a dispositional preference within individual differences research. Traditionally, intuitive cognitive style has been taken as one pole of the bipolar intuition-analysis construct (Allinson & Hayes, 1996). Within the traditional approach, intuitive cognitive style research (Allinson & Hayes, 1996) has described individual differences in behaviour. However, recent mismatch between the theory and psychometric findings on the intuitive pole of intuition-analysis has led other researchers (Hodgkinson & Sadler-Smith, 2003) to question the bipolar nature of the construct. Furthermore, the new neuroscience of intuitive cognitive style’s cousin, intuition, described intuitive constructs as consisting of the integration of cognitive, affective and somatic processes that yield physical sensations and has raised the important question about how the integration of seemingly disparate processes may occur (Hodgkinson, Langan-Fox, Sadler-Smith, 2008). In addition, intuitive physical sensations in the guise of somatic markers have come to the fore as central to understanding anti-social behaviours and obsessive compulsive disorders (e.g. Blair, 2001). Thus, knowing more about the process by which intuitive style, particularly from a dispositional individual differences perspective, not only may be valuable in research but also in clinical practice. To this end, the current thesis developed a psychoneurobiological-based self-report multidimensional process model of intuitive cognitive style based on the neuroscience of intuition for use in both research and practice. A new multidimensional scale was developed, the Intuitive Cognitive Style Scale (ICSS), to assess intuitive style as a multidimensional variable. The ICSS was administered in two separate data collections (total n= 509) to intuitive samples, together with a battery of occupational and personality instruments. The ICSS scale components were then submitted to process modelling and two main models were supported. In negative affective states, intuitives experience associative processing, that then focussed attention on observed non-verbal cues, which then triggered a physical feeling. In contrast, for positive affective states, intuitives experience associative processing, that then lead to the involvement of positive affect, which then triggered a physical feeling. Based on the results of the process modelling, the ICSS was modified and the physical feelings component examined together with occupational variables as a comparison with previous findings in which intuitive cognitive style was one pole of a bipolar construct. Further theoretical developments for intuitive cognitive style were then pursued for research and clinical practice according to the findings from the process modelling. Recommendations for future research include examining ICSS together with physiological measures, brain imaging and measures of psychopathologies to further clarify the role of a multidimensional process model of dispositional physical feelings

Topics: Intuitive style, Intuition, Neuroscience, Cognitive style, Somatic marker hypothesis, Psychoneurobiology, Intuition-analysis, Scale development, Serial mediation
Publisher: Monash University. Faculty of Education. Department of Psychology
Year: 2014
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