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2018 Laureate Education, Inc. 1

Program Transcript

LINDA: Amy, can you talk to me? You’re safe here.

AMY: I’m not safe anywhere.

LINDA: Tell me what’s going on? How are things at home?

AMY: My dad’s sick. He had a stroke a few weeks ago. Everything’s so messed up
there. But I’m sure you already heard that from my mom. You’re her social worker, too,


AMY: What else did she tell you? I bet she told you I won’t talk to her about what’s going
on. I can’t talk to her. She’s so upset about everything that’s going on with my dad. The
last thing she needs to hear is my problems.

I thought about talking to my guidance counselor at school, but I can’t do that either.
They’ll only see me, and it will get worse. That’s why my mom brought me to you,
thinking you can help me, where they can’t see.

LINDA: Tell me a little bit more about school. What do you mean by if they see you it will
get worse?

AMY: Some girls, they’ve been picking on me– calling me names– fat pig, ugly. They
make fun of my clothes. Yesterday, two of them are waiting by my locker. They pushed
me down, rubbed food in my hair. There were others in the hall, but they just stood
there and laughed.

LINDA: How did that make you feel?

AMY: How do you think? It hurts. They make me feel like a freak. I’m scared what
they’re going to do next. I hate school.

LINDA: I understand.

AMY: But that’s not the worst. They text me late at night, waking me up, saying they’re
going to beat me up. They say, I deserve it for being so ugly. I’m starting to think they’re

LINDA: Have you told anybody about these threats?

AMY: They’ll get me worse if I snitch. Besides, nobody will understand.


2018 Laureate Education, Inc. 2

LINDA: What do you mean by nobody will understand?

AMY: Because they won’t. Nobody understands what it feels like. Not unless they go
through it.


LINDA: How do you feel right now?

AMY: Read for yourself. How would you feel? Southside Community Services: Mrs. Bargas and Amy, Episode 1

2018 Laureate Education, Inc. 1

Southside Community Services: Mrs. Bargas and Amy,
Episode 1
Program Transcript

LINDA: Thank you for agreeing to come in and meet together. I know I’ve met
with the two of you individually, but there are some issues that we need to
discuss as mother and daughter. Have you two had a chance to discuss any of
the things that have been going on?

MRS. BARGAS: Well, it’s hard to talk about anything when I don’t know what you
two are talking about. And she doesn’t tell me anything.

LINDA: What we do discuss in this office is confidential. But we are going to talk
openly now about the issues between the two of you.

Mrs. Bargas, can you share some of your concerns that you have about Amy?

MRS. BARGAS: I feel like you’re shutting me out. We don’t talk the way we used
to. I need you, honey. I’ve got a lot on me right now– work, things with dad.

AMY: You’ve got a lot on you? What about me? She’s got me working with my
little brother after school. I have to feed him dinner and help with his homework.
And I’ve got my own schoolwork to deal with.

LINDA: Amy, how would you feel about sharing with your mom what’s been going
on at school so that she can better understand?

OK. We’ll keep working on that.

How do you feel about Amy’s reluctance to talk about this?

MRS. BARGAS: Ever since I started working, I feel completely out of touch. I
don’t know what’s going on with anyone in the family now.

It scares me.

LINDA: OK. I think we’ve identified some things that we can work on. Assignment: Writing a Treatment Plan
Everything that social workers do is an intervention; therefore, social workers develop treatment plans so that they can outline the purpose of treatment, assist in giving the client direction in the treatment process, allow the social worker to collaborate with the client, and help social workers and clients mark progress toward goals. Depending on where you work as a social worker, your funding source may be dependent upon your treatment plan.
In this Assignment, you develop a treatment plan for a client. In real practice, you should never create a treatment plan without conducting a more thorough assessment and then collaborating with the client to mutually agree on goals and steps to implement the plan. For the purpose of this Assignment, however, you explain how you might go about this process.
To Prepare
Watch the video case study found in the Learning Resources.
Then, consult the Learning Resources and/or go to the Walden Library to find information related to interventions for this type of client or problem.
Use this information to help develop an individual or family treatment plan for the identified client (Amy, Mrs. Bargas, or Bargas family) with whom you have chosen to work from the case study.
For help with this assignment, refer back to theLibraryrecommendations in Week 3.
Helpful tip: Try other keywords including:
treatment programs
Try using the ANDandOR connectors. For example:

drug addiction OR drug abuse OR substance abuse OR drug use

senior citizen OR older people OR elderly OR aging

intervention AND alcoholism

Learn more about
AND,OR, andNOT (Boolean operators)in the guide below.

Guide: Keyword Searching: Boolean

By Day 7
Write a generalist treatment plan that includes all of the following:
Identify the client.
Describe the problems that need to be addressed.
Explain how you would work with the client to identify and prioritize problems.
Identify the related needs based on the identified problems.
Describe how you would utilize client strengths when selecting a strategy for intervention.
Identify at least two treatment plan goals.
Create at least one measurable objective to meet each goal.
Explain the specific action steps to achieve objectives.
Describe what information is important to document in a treatment plan, and explain why.

Week nine’s assignment (Writing a Treatment Plan) is due on
Day 7Please review the requirements (see template below) for the assignment and address all key components as listed below for full credit.


Identify the client

Describe the problems that need to be addressed

3. Explain how you would work with the client to identify and prioritize problems

4. Identify the related needs based on the identified problems

Describe how you would utilize client strengths when selecting a strategy for intervention.

Identify at least two treatment plan goals.

7. Create at least one measurable objective to meet each goal.

8. Explain the specific action steps to achieve objective

8. Describe what information is important to document in a treatment plan and explain why.

Learning Resources
Required Readings
Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, G. H., Jr. (2018).
Empowerment series: Understanding generalist practice (8th ed.). CENGAGE Learning.

Chapter 6, Planning in Generalist Practice (pp. 224254)
Chapter 16, Recording in Generalist Social Work Practice (pp. 599656)

Barsky, A. (2017, Winter). Ethics alive! To record or not to record: The ethics of documentation.
The New Social Worker.

Required Media

Singer, J. B. (Host). (2007, March 1). Developing treatment plans: The basics (Episode 11) [Audio podcast episode].
Social Work Podcast.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 17 minutes.

Walden University, LLC. (2017).
Southside Community Services: Mrs. Bargas, case history [Video].

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 5 minutes.

Accessible player
Walden University, LLC. (2017).
Southside Community Services: Amy, episode 1 [Video].

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.

Accessible player
Walden University, LLC. (2017).
Southside Community Services: Mrs. Bargas and Amy, episode 1 [Video].

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.

Accessible player

image1.wmf Southside Community Services: Mrs. Bargas Case History

2018 Laureate Education, Inc. 1

Southside Community Services: Mrs. Bargas Case History
Program Transcript


LINDA FORTE: Hi, Mrs. Bargas, I’m Linda Forte, the social worker assigned to
your case. It’s nice to meet you. So what brings you in, today?

MRS. BARGAS: Well– I’ve been out of work about 3 months. And 2 weeks ago,
my husband had a stroke. He’s still in the hospital. So it’s been– a lot, all at once.
And the money– I don’t know how going to pay the bills, or the rent. We cannot
lose our home. We have five children.

LINDA FORTE: Has this been hard on them? It sounds like you’ve been going
through a lot since losing your job and your husband being in the hospital. I can
understand how you can feel stressed and concerned.

MRS. BARGAS: My daughter Amy– she’s my oldest– she’s been having the
hardest time. She’s cutting classes at school and she’s failing two of her courses.

LINDA FORTE: So how did you hear about our agency and how can I help?

MRS. BARGAS: Well, my pastor said that you could help me find a job and
maybe help with the rent money. And maybe Amy could– speak to somebody.

LINDA FORTE: OK. Has your daughter, Amy, has she ever expressed any
interest in hoping to speak to somebody about her problems?

MRS. BARGAS: Maybe. I don’t know. I haven’t really mentioned it to her. But my
pastor thinks it’s a good idea.

LINDA FORTE: Has Amy ever spoken to the social worker at her school, before?

MRS. BARGAS: No, I don’t think so.

LINDA FORTE: OK. That’s fine. We can definitely talk about getting Amy some
help. But first, why don’t we talk a little bit about work experience. What kind of
job are you hoping to find?

MRS. BARGAS: Well, before I married my husband, I worked as a nanny.

LINDA FORTE: OK. So why don’t we talk a little bit more about that, about who
you worked for, and what kind of job duties you had.

MRS. BARGAS: Well, I was much younger when I was a nanny. Let me see, it
was– more than 12 years ago. But I don’t think I could do that work, now. Maybe

Southside Community Services: Mrs. Bargas Case History

2018 Laureate Education, Inc. 2

I could work in an office. You know, I’m really good at working with people. Can
you find me a job in an office?

LINDA FORTE: I don’t know. I work with a career counselor, here. She might be
able to help you.

MRS. BARGAS: I don’t know how I’m going to pay the rent.

LINDA FORTE: I know right now is really tough for you.

MRS. BARGAS: I just don’t know what to do. Nothing has turned out the way I
hoped it would. My whole life. I’m really worried about my daughter, Amy. She’s
afraid to go to school. She loses her temper all the time. She yells at me and
then locks herself in a room and she won’t speak. I am so confused. I don’t know
what to do with her. I just– I don’t know.

LINDA FORTE: It’s OK to be upset. Mrs. Bargas? Are you OK?

MRS. BARGAS: I’m sorry, what?

LINDA FORTE: Are you all right?


LINDA FORTE: Good news. I spoke with the career counselor and she has an
available opening for you, tomorrow. She thinks she can help you find a job.

MRS. BARGAS: That’s great! Thank you so much. I was wondering, actually,
there’s something else that you could help me with. I told you that my husband
had a stroke. He’s going to need speech therapy. But it’s– we can’t afford it. And
we don’t have any insurance. Is there any chance that you could call his doctor
and see if my husband can get this therapy? He really needs it.

LINDA FORTE: I may be able to help. But I’m going to need to understand your
husband’s situation a little bit better. Is there any way your husband would be
willing to sign a release form, so I could talk to the doctor?

MRS. BARGAS: You can’t just call his doctor? I give you permission.

LINDA FORTE: I’m afraid not. According to HIPAA regulations, the doctor is not
allowed to discuss your husband’s condition with me without his consent. Your
husband could sign a release of information form, which would then make it
possible for me to talk to his doctor. I recommend you go home and talk to your
husband about whether he’d want to give his consent.

MRS. BARGAS: OK. I will. Thank you so much. You’ve been so helpful.

Southside Community Services: Mrs. Bargas Case History

2018 Laureate Education, Inc. 3

LINDA FORTE: Absolutely. And I look forward to seeing Amy next week.






Hello, I attached the instructions and article. please read the article

The book introduction
Intuition: Its Powers and Perils provides a different type of exposure to the content of this course. Make sure you have read the article thoroughly.

1. Write a three-paragraph essay using the information found in this link. In the essay, explain in your own words the perils of intuition and why intuition often errs. Intuition: Its Powers and Perils


As a research psychologist and communicator of psychological science, I have spent a career
pondering the connections between subjective and objective truth, between feeling and fact, between
intuition and reality. I’m predisposed to welcome unbidden hunches, creative ideas, the Spirit’s
workings. I once took an instant liking to a fellow teenager, to whom I’ve now been married for nearly
forty years. When I meet job applicants, my gut reactions sometimes kick in within seconds, before I
can explain my feelings in words. Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that
counts can be counted,” said a sign in Albert Einstein’s office.

But from science and everyday life, I also know that my intuition sometimes errs. My geographical
intuition tells me that Reno is east of Los Angeles, that Rome is south of New York, that Atlanta is east
of Detroit. But I am wrong, wrong, and wrong. The first principle,” said Einstein’s fellow physicist
Richard Feynman, is that you must not fool yourselfand you are the easiest person to fool.”

For Webster and for this book, intuition is our capacity for direct knowledge, for immediate insight
without observation or reason. Intuitive thinking is perception-like, rapid, effortless,” notes Princeton
University psychologist Daniel Kahneman. By contrast, deliberate thinking is reasoning-like, critical,
and analytic.”

Do we all have untapped intuitive powers? Are we worthy of Shakespeares acclaim, in apprehension
how like a god!”? When hiring, firing, and investing should we plug into our right brain”
premonitions? Should we follow the example of Star War’s Luke Skywalker, by turning off our
computers and trusting the Force?

Or are skeptics right to define intuition as our inner knowing that we’re right, whether we are or not?
Are we like the hollow man . . . headpiece filled with straw” (T. S. Eliot)? With bright people so often
believing demonstrably dumb things, do we instead need more left brain” rationality? To think and
act smarter, should we more energetically check intuition against reality and subject creative hunch to
skeptical scrutiny?

The Acclaimed Powers of Intuition

In his BBC Reith Lecture in 2000, Prince Charles lifted up the wisdom of the heart. Buried deep within
each and every one of us there is an instinctive, heart felt awareness that providesif we allow it to
the most reliable guide as to whether or not our actions are really in the long term interests of our
planet and all the life it supports. . . . Wisdom, empathy and compassion have no place in the
empirical world yet traditional wisdoms would ask ‘without them are we truly human?'” We need, said
the future king, to listen rather more to the common sense emanating from our hearts.”

In this postmodernist New Age, Prince Charles has plenty of company. Scholars, popular writers, and
workshop gurus are training people to trust their hearts as well as their heads. You have lots of
options if you want to develop your intuitionwhat Apollo 14 astronaut and Institute of Noetic
Sciences founder Edgar Mitchell calls an experience of inner knowing that [can be] experienced just
as concretely as logical thought.” You can take a Caribbean Intuition Cruise, where leading intuitives
will offer a comprehensive program for using intuition to enhance every area of your life.” To cultivate
your inner, intuitive resources” you can explore the Intuition Network’s website. You can listen to
Intuition Training” audiotapes. You can subscribe to Intuition magazine to explore the natural skill
anyone can cultivate.” In other magazines you can read scores of articles on topics such as how to let


intuition be your guide” (by giving yourself permission to listen to . . . your intuitive voice” and
learning to exercise your intuitive muscle”).

You can go even deeper with one of the dozens of intuition guidebooks that promise to develop your
sixth sense, to harness your inner wisdom, to unlock the power of your subconscious mind.

If it’s healing you’re looking for, The Intuitive Healer: Accessing Your Inner Physician suggests how
the personalized medicine chest” in your intuitive mind can help you avert illness. But you can also
find five steps to physical, emotional, and sexual wellness” in Dr. Judith Orloff’s Guide to Intuitive
Healing and learn how to trust your intuition for guidance and healing” in The Intuitive Heart. For
cooks and dieters there’s even Intuitive Cooking and Intuitive Eating.

Would you like children to experience whole-brain” learning? Suggest that their school administrators
read The Intuitive Principal and their teachers study Understanding and Teaching the Intuitive Mind. If
your child is academically challenged, you might consider The Intuitive Approach to Reading and
Learning Abilities. For home use, there is The Wise Child: A Spiritual Guide to Nurturing Your Child’s

Are you a business person, manager, or investor? Perhaps The Intuitive Manager, The Intuitive
Trader, or Practical Intuition for Success would help.

Do you want to expand your spiritual consciousness? There is a buffet of options, including Intuitive
Thinking as a Spiritual Path, Divine Intuition, and Intuitive Living: A Sacred Path.

Or are you simply interested in wisdom and effective living? Then you may want The Intuitive Edge or
Practical Intuition. Perhaps you will want to dig deeper and study Intuition: The Inside Story. Where
does one begin? If you are an intuitive, You Already Know What to Do, asserts my favorite title (by
Sharon Franquemont, a delightful intuition trainer whose book declares that intuition is my

The Powers of Intuition

Who can disagree with the Utne Readers observation that Intuition is hot”? But what shall we make
of this new cottage industry? Intuition authors and trainersintuitives, as they call themselves
seem largely oblivious to psychology’s new explorations of how we process information. Are their
intuitions about intuition valid? Is our consciousness sometimes invaded by unbidden truth, which is
there for us to behold if only we would listen to the still small voice within? Or are their intuition
writings to cognitive science what professional wrestling is to athletics? Do they offer little more than a
make-believe world, an illusory reality in substitution for the real thing?

The emerging understanding, as we will see, is double-sided. There are trivial truths and great
truths,” declared the physicist Niels Bohr. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite
of a great truth is also true.”* And so it is with human intuition, which has surprising powers and
perils. On the one hand, recent cognitive science reveals a fascinating unconscious mindanother
mind backstagethat Freud never told us about. More than we realized over a decade ago, thinking
occurs not on stage, but off stage, out of sight. As we will see in chapters to come, studies of
automatic processing,” subliminal priming,” implicit memory,” heuristics,” spontaneous trait
inference,” right-brain processing, instant emotions, nonverbal communication, and creativity unveil
our intuitive capacities. Thinking, memory, and attitudes all operate on two levels (conscious and
deliberate, and unconscious and automatic)dual processing, today’s researchers call it. We know
more than we know we know.



Blindsight. Having lost a portion of their brain’s visual cortex to surgery or stroke, people
may be consciously blind in part of their field of vision. Shown a series of sticks in the blind
field, they report seeing nothing. Yet when asked to guess whether the sticks are vertical or
horizontal, they may unerringly offer the correct response. When told, you got them all
right,” they are astounded. These people clearly know more than they know they know. They
may reach to shake an outstretched hand that they cannot see. There are, it seems, little
mindsparallel processing” systemsoperating unseen.

Indeed, sight unseen” is how University of Durham psychologist David Milner describes the
brain’s two visual systemsone that gives us our conscious perceptions, and one that guides
our actions.” The second he calls the zombie within.” Milner describes a brain-damaged
woman who can see the hairs on the back of a hand and yet be unable to recognize a hand.
Asked to use her thumb and forefinger to estimate an object’s size, she can’t do it. Though
when she reaches for the object her thumb and forefinger are appropriately placed. She knows
more than she is aware of.

Prosopagnosia. Patients with this disorder have suffered damage to a part of the brain
involved in face recognition. After losing the pertinent temporal lobe area, patients may have
complete sensation but incomplete perception. They can sense visual informationindeed,
may accurately report the features of a face yet be unable to recognize it. When shown an
unfamiliar face, they do not react. When shown a loved one’s face, however, their body
displays recognition. Their autonomic nervous system responds with measurable perspiration
and speeded pulse. What the conscious mind cannot understand, the heart knows.

Everyday perception. Consider your own taken-for-granted capacity to intuitively recognize
a face. As you look at a photo, your brain acts like a multitasking computer. It breaks the
visual information into subdimensions, such as color, depth, movement, and form, and works
on each aspect simultaneously, using different neural networks, before reassembling the
components. (Damage the pertinent neural network and you may become unable to perceive
a subdimension, such as movement.) Finally, your brain compares the reconstructed image
with previously stored images. Voil! Instantly and effortlessly you recognize, among billions
of humans, someone you’ve not seen in five years.

Neural impulses travel a million times slower than a computer’s internal messages, yet our
brain humbles any computer with its instant recognition. You can buy a chess machine that
beats a master,” notes vision researcher Donald Hoffman, but can’t yet buy a vision machine
that beats a toddler’s vision.” If intuition is immediate knowing, without reasoned analysis,
then perceiving is intuition par excellence.

So, is human intelligence more than logic? Is thinking more than ordering words? Is comprehension
more than conscious cognition? Absolutely. Cognitive psychologist George Miller embodied this truth
by telling of two passengers leaning against the ship’s rail, staring at the sea. ‘There sure is a lot of
water in the ocean,’ said one. ‘Yes,’ answered his friend, ‘and we’ve only seen the top of it.'”

The Perils of Intuition

It’s true: intuition is not only hot, it is also a big part of human decision making. But the
complementary truth is that intuition often errs. Lay aside, for the moment, your rational mind and
the analytical tools that serve it. Put down that measuring stick and take a deep breath, relax your
body, quiet your talk-addicted mind,” and tune in to that sixth sense. Listen to its soft song as it tells
you, immediately and directly . . .


a. How far up this triangle is the dot?

b. Do the dimensions of these two box tops differ?

c. Which of these two line segments (AB or BC) is longer?

d. Line CD is what percent as long as AB?


e. Are you familiar with this phrase?



The truths refute our intuition. The dot is exactly halfway up the triangle (though our intuitionour
direct knowledgesays it’s higher). The two box tops, as a measurement or a comparative tracing
indicates, are identical in size and shape (though our intuition tells us otherwise). Line segment AB is
one-third longer (though our intuition tells us the lines are the same). Line segment CD is 100 percent
as long as AB (though our intuition tells us CD is shorter). And you probably are not familiar with the
phrase a bird in the the hand.”

You perhaps have seen some of these perceptual effects, which are among dozens of illustrations of
how our brain’s rules for perceiving the worldrules that usually enable correct intuitionsometimes
lead us astray, as many injured drivers and pilots can testify (and dead ones cannot). Things may
appear one way yet really be quite different. Are intuition’s errors limited to perceptual tricks?
Consider some simple questions. Again, follow the intuitives’ advice to silence your linear, logical, left-
brain mind, thus opening yourself to the whispers of your inner wisdom.

Imagine (or ask someone to imagine) folding a sheet of paper on itself 100 times. Roughly how thick
would it then be?

Given our year with 365 days, a group needs 366 people to ensure that at least two of its members
share the same birthday. How big must the group be to have a 50 percent chance of finding a birthday

Imagine yourself participating in this study, patterned after a 1930s experiment by psychologist Lloyd
Humphreys. On each of 100 trials, you are asked to guess whether a light that goes on 70 percent of
the time will go on. You get a dollar each time your guess (yes” or no”) is correct. Visualize the first
ten trials.

Once again, our intuitions usually err. Given a 0.1-millimeter-thick sheet, the thickness after 100
folds, each doubling the preceding thickness, would be 800 trillion times the distance between the
earth and the sun. Only twenty-three people are needed to give better than even odds of any two
people having the same birthday. (Look out at a soccer match with a referee and the odds are 50-50
that two people on the field have the same birthday.) And though people typically guess yes” about
70 percent of the time, their intuitions leave them with emptier pocketsabout $58than if they
simply guessed yes” all the time, producing about $70.*

Ah, but shall we say with some postmodernists that intuitive truth is self-validating, and that we must
not judge it by the canons of westernized logic? No. With these mind teaser problems, rational
analysis defines truth. On the perceptual problems, the ruler rules; it measures an objective reality.
On the little gambling game, the rare person who follows logic leaves with enough money to take
friends out to a lobster dinner, while the intuitive and friends at the next table can afford only

To be sure, these puzzle games are played on rationality’s home court. Logic and measurement,
anyone might grant, are ideally suited to such tasks. Consider, then, the tension between intuition and
rational analysis in more important realms.

The history of science is a story of one challenge to our intuition after another. The heart, our hearts
once told us, is the seat of the mind and emotions. Today, the heart remains our symbol for love, but
science has long overtaken intuition on this issue. It’s your brain, not your heart, that falls in love.


For all human history, our ancestors daily observed the sun cutting across the sky. This had at least
two plausible explanations: a) the sun was circling the earth, or b) the earth was spinning while the
sun stood still. Intuition preferred the first. Galileo’s scientific observations demanded the second.

My own field of psychological science has sometimes confirmed popular intuitions. An enduring,
committed marriage is conducive to adults’ happiness and children’s thriving. The media modeling of
violent and sexually impulsive behaviors do affect viewers attitudes and actions (though the same
studies contradict people’s intuitions that it’s only others who are influenced). Perceived freedom and
feelings of control are conducive to happiness and achievement. But at the same time, our unaided
intuitions may tell us that familiarity breeds contempt, that dreams predict the future, and that high
self-esteem is invariably beneficialideas that aren’t supported by the available evidence. Even the
California Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem acknowledged in its report that the intuitively correct”
presumptionthat high self-esteem leads to desirable behaviorshas been but weakly confirmed. (It
is true that those with high self-esteem are less at risk for depression, but high self-esteem also has a
dark side. Much violence results from the puncturing of inflated egos.)

Recent research also relegates other intuitively correct axioms of pop psychology to the dustbin.

Although genetic predispositions and peer and media influences shape children, direct parental
nurture has surprisingly little effect on their developing personalities and tastes. (Adopted
siblings do not develop more similar personalities as a result of being reared in the same
home. And identical twins are not more alike in personality if reared together than if reared in
separate homes.)

People typically do not repress acutely painful or upsetting experiences. Holocaust survivors,
children who have witnessed a parent’s murder, and rape victims remember the horror all too

Experiments have similarly deflated people’s intuitions that quartz crystals uplift their spirits,
that subliminal self-help tapes have reprogrammed their unconscious mind, and that
therapeutic touch” (moving hands near the body) has curative effects. (Those given fake
crystals or supposed subliminal tapes, for example, exhibit the same results.)

Science,” said Richard Feynman, is a long history of learning how not to fool ourselves.”

Why Does It Matter?

Does comprehending the powers and perils of intuition matter? I contend that it matters greatly.

Judges’ and jurors’ intuitions determine the fate of lives. (Is she telling the truth? Will he do it again if
released? Does applying the death penalty deter homicide?)

Investors’ intuitions affect fortunes. (Has the market bottomed? Are tech stocks due for another
plunge? Is it time to shift into bonds?)

Coaches’ intuitions guide their decisions about whom to play. (Does she have the hot hand tonight? Is
he in a batting slump?)

Clinicians’ intuitions steer their practice. (Is he at risk for suicide? Was she sexually abused?)

Intuitions shape our fears (do we fear the right things?), impressions (are our stereotypes accurate?),
and relationships (does she like me?). Intuitions influence presidents in times of crisis, gamblers at
the table, and personnel directors when eyeing applicants. As a high-ranking Texas official said of the
theory that the death penalty deters murder, I just feel in my gut it must be true.” Our gut-level
intuitions have helped us all avert misfortunes, but sometimes they have led us into misfortune.
Nobody can dictate my behavior,” said Diana, Princess of Wales, in her last interview before that
fateful ride. I work through instinct, and instinct is my best counselor.”


So, yes, it’s worth our while to examine the powers and perils of our human intuition. It’s worth our
while to sift fact from fancy. It’s worth our while to seek wisdom. Perhaps, with apologies to Reinhold
Niebuhr, we could use a second Serenity Prayer:

God, give us grace
to accept the things that are true,
courage to challenge the things which are untrue,
and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

Social psychologist David Myers is a communicator of psychological science to college students and
the general public.

His scientific writings, supported by National Science Foundation grants and fellowships, have
appeared in three dozen academic periodicals, including Science, the American Scientist, the American
Psychologist, and Psychological Science.

Reprinted with permission.



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