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Mine Detector & Acupoint

As my research goes on, some people (including experienced acupuncture therapists) said to me that intuition has nothing to do with acupuncture. They don't understand at all why I have cognitive interviews with some acupuncture therapists and what I'm trying to figure out. Moreover, these people are very suspicious of intuition --it is no use to study intuition because intuition is not perfect.

I know the fact that people have different attitude toward intuition. Some people recognize intuition has relationship with expertise and helps our creativity. Other stress we should not depend on intuition because we tend to have biases and over-confidence (therefore, they recommend we make our judgments based on numerical and statistic data).

We, Naturalistic Decision-Making (NDM) researchers, fully accept both opinions. Yes, experts in any field usually have strong intuition and creative minds. However, of course, intuition has weaknesses --after all, human make wrong judgments and decisions.

To me, acupuncture looks like detecting mines. As you can see the above picture, the soldiers are using the devices to detect the mine. Likewise, acupuncture therapists use their fingers to detect right acupoints where the needle should be inserted. Amazingly, both finding out the location of mine and acupoint need human intuition.

According to Gary Klein's Twitter (Gary Klein@Kleinsight) on April 20, 2018, he introduced an interesting story.

'The US government used to spend $39M in a decade to develop better mine-detectors, but the devices were useless. However, there was a person who used mine detectors skillfully. NDM researchers had cognitive interviews with him. Then, they revealed his tacit knowledge --how this man works his mind, the mechanism of his intuition. Finally, this finding leads to much better equipment.'

This is the same as acupuncture. If less experienced therapists and students can learn tacit knowledge from experienced people, they can improve their clinical skills much faster than expected or average therapists. Moreover, findings on tacit knowledge can be applied to the development of new medical devices.

This is the reason why I'm now studying cognitive science in acupuncture.









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