The Anthill

Anthill 25: Intuition

Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash. , CC BY

Anthill 25: Intuition

Ever had a funny feeling, a thought or conviction that you feel compelled to act on, but you can’t quite explain it? Intuition is a concept we’re all – intuitively – familiar with.

In this episode of The Anthill, a podcast from The Conversation, we get to grips with what intuition exactly is and how it works in our brains and bodies. Psychologist Valerie Van Mulukom from Coventry University explains some of the basics for us.

Then we investigate the role that intuition plays in decision making. Ever had a gut feeling that flies in the face of the facts that are right before your eyes? Gerard Hodgkinson from Alliance Manchester Business School and Cinla Akinci from the University of St Andrews explain when we should follow our intuitions and when we should defer to more data-driven analysis.

The final part of the podcast explores an emerging field of research called quantum biology. Two of the field’s pioneers – Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden at the University of Surrey – had a strong hunch that they were onto something with the idea a few decades ago. They explain the strange marriage of biology and the counterintuitive world of quantum physics, which rules the microcosmos of atoms and particles.


The Anthill theme music is by Alex Grey for Melody Loops. Music in the quantum biology section is Even when we fall by Philipp Weigl, The Ascent by A.A.Aalto and bird sounds @copyright 1972 BBC.

Click here to listen to more episodes of The Anthill, on themes including Sex, Growing Up, Myths, and Pain.

Thank you to City, University of London’s Department of Journalism for letting us use their studios to record The Anthill.

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