Instinct is present in all living creatures, including
humans. It is instinct that tells us to fight or flee, yell or
withdraw, kill or hide.
Intuition, in contrast, is a mature person’s skill,
based on experience that assists in pattern recognition and
training that speeds analysis once the possibilities of the
patterns are identified. Rudolph Steiner identified intuition
as the third level of higher knowledge, after imagination and
An instinct is an inherited tendency towards a particular
action, such as a cat pursuing a mouse. An instinct is learned
at a sensitive point in a person’s life (like a child figuring
out how to walk) or is actually hard-wired, inherited in the
genes. An intuition, on the other hand, is a combination of
pattern recognition and analysis that has been so practiced that
it feels effortless. This is the process that Malcolm Gladwell
immortalized in his book Blink.
Books by Malcolm Gladwell and Napoleon Hill adress the concepts defined above.
Blink celebrates Intuition while Think and Grow Rich glorifies Instinct.