We all have had those moments in our lives where it seemed like a little inner voice told us to avoid a situation, change our decision, or take a completely different direction. That voice goes by many names (hunch, sixth sense, gut feeling, instinct, insight, sensitivity, etc.) and most of us have had a one-on-one with it at some point in life, but let us just call it what it is—intuition. It comes from the Latin word “intuir,” which means knowledge from within.
Intuition is defined as the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning—it is not a magical or paranormal existence. Although not all scientists can completely agree on the exact definition; however, they do agree on where the source of intuition originates.
The term “gut feeling” actually does come from the stomach area. How? It is the result of the activities within the different regions of the brain. These specific types of reasoning skills are generated from the right hemisphere of the brain. The right hemisphere not only governs creative thought, art, music, senses and emotion, it is also the area where intuitive thoughts are created.
Most psychologists view intuition as a condensed reasoning or swift cognition—a person’s ability to exploit the brain’s shortcuts. However, some psychologists, on the other hand, deem gut feelings as an associative process that taps into the unconscious.
How can we use intuition to fight crime?
Criminologists explain that a crime is the desire, target, and opportunity of the criminal. All three of these components must take place to make up the crime.
Criminals have a desire to commit a specific crime, such as robbery, assault, rape, etc. This desire to commit the crime is something that we don’t have any control over.
Generally, the criminal will not attempt to commit a specific crime if the target (home, car, person, etc.) is secure. We do have control over this area. It has been referred to as target hardening and simply means that we have taken steps to make it secure.
The above two components must take place first before the opportunity can take place. However, if any of these components of the crime don’t fall into place, the crime will not be committed. We have control over the opportunity aspect. Be aware, don’t put yourself into situations that could be dangerous, and pay attention to your intuition.
I know that I’m oversimplifying the crime aspect, but I wanted to make a point about intuition and using it fight crime.
Intuition can be a powerful tool in our cognitive arsenal—it is fast, powerful, and mainly used under stressful situations. Just like anything, it needs recognition. Remember, intuition can easily be overridden by our rational thoughts.
Intuition typically is more successful under chaotic and uncertain conditions, and rational thoughts are generally more successful with analysis and data.
- Do everything that you can to secure yourself and your property. Take extra measures if necessary—be proactive. Take the target out of the crime equation.
- Be alert and take notice of your surroundings. Be sure to report anything suspicious to the local authorities. Take the opportunity out of the crime equation.
- Don’t get distracted by simple things such as your cell phone, text messages, etc. when leaving a location (home or business) and walking to your car. Take both the target and opportunity out of the crime equation.
- If at all possible, don’t put yourself in high-risk situations. If you absolutely have to, then make some kind of arrangement to ensure more safety.
- Above all, listen your little inner voice, gut feelings, or hunch. Find your intuition and use it.
Have you ever listened to your instinct and it paid off? I would love to hear from you, please feel free to leave a comment.
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