Ordinary soldiers have sometimes shown a battlefield sixth sense that has saved lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now the U.S. military wants to better understand that “spidey sense” and train troops to tap their inner superhero instincts.
The U.S. Office of Naval Research pointed to sixth sense research about how “humans can detect and act on unique patterns without consciously and intentionally analyzing them,” according to a special notice posted on Feb. 29. It hopes to encourage such intuition in the brains of new soldiers, Marines and other troops with little or no battlefield experience.
The U.S. military also pointed to studies suggesting a sixth sense can arise from “implicit learning” — absorbing information without being aware of the learning process — rather than building up expertise through years of practice.
First, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) plans to measure the workings of both intuition and implicit learning. Next, it would create a working model of such thinking that could also reflect individual soldiers’ differences, adapt to new situations, and account for the influence of battlefield stress or fatigue.
Is this about “Blink“? They seem to be getting this idea from that popular book. This method was not without criticism. The evidence for such “implicit learning” has been characterized as flimsy. Also, quick, intuitive thinking is not always a good substitute for critical reasoning. The jury is still out on this. But, leave it to the military to want to try something without an adequate foundation. They have done so in the past regarding remote viewing and now acupuncture.