Questions about Intuitive Process

  1. How representative within the law enforcement community are these incidents of intuition? Are the experiences of intuition on which officers take action and receive some positive results greater than chance? Do we tend to remember only the experiences we've acted on and had positive results?

Can we recall how often we have had "intuitions" that we felt we should take some action; do we recall whether we acted on them; can we recall what the results were?

  1. Does every cop have these intuitive experiences?

  • Are they experienced equally among officers?
  • Are there sex differences? Age differences? Years of experience?
  • How often do "all"/"some" of these officers act on them?
  • How many were accurate?
  • How does one define ACCURACY in these experiences?
  1. What distinguishes "common sense" observations that are processed quickly and acted on-but not thought through-from intuition? Are they different, the same, seen as a continuum? Can one process lead one into the other?

  2. What role does "context" play in the intuitive process?

Does the patrol area the officer always works in or the kind of crime scenes (for example, death scenes) the officer deals with, or the kind of crime the officer responds to (stolen cars; "man with a gun") offer certain "cues" that alert him/her to differences/similarities/dangers? Will these same reactions on the part of the officer occur outside these contexts (for example, working stolen guns instead of working "recovering illegal guns from the street"; recognizing suspicious/threatening behavior on the streets of a large city to recognizing suspicious/threatening behavior at an airport; working high-crime, drug area vs. a low-crime, non-threatening-or less threatening area )?

  1. Are there "top down" (cognitive) aspects to intuitive reactions and/or "bottom up" (visceral) aspects to intuition? Which one begins the process? Do they somehow meet in the middle? Do they remain separate? Does one guide/trigger/override the other? Can one be more accurate than the other? Does it matter which is fired first? Does one trigger more "threatening" situations than the other? Are such distinctions between cognitions and emotions artificial?

  2. If this process of intuition is an "evolutionary" residual, is it connected to the autonomic nervous system? If so, could this produce in officers a constant state of "hyper vigilance"? If so, could this have negative physiological affects on officers after years of law enforcement work?

  3. Can this process, if identified, be taught to young officers? Can officers (individuals) be taught to recognize these internal processes, understand them, identify them, and develop them? Can they be taught to reflect on these experiences in such as way as to be able to recall accurately what "caught their attention" and triggered their actions? Can they be taught to clearly articulate these experiences?

  4. What are the legal implications of this process? The results of the research?