Limitations of the Study
There are two
noteworthy limitations of this study: generalizability and longitudinal
effects. The generalizabilty of these research findings are limited
because they were generated in an exploratory qualitative inquiry. The
research design was not intended to produce results that account for or
predict the behavior of a wide classification of people as most
experimental, hypothesis-testing studies are. This liability was clear
at the outset. However, because the inquiry generated a relatively clear
and specific Grounded Theory that can be applied to practical
experiences, it should be relatively easy to design a series of focused
hypothesis-testing studies to experimentally verify and expand the
theory generated here. These studies would be much more likely to
produce findings generalizable to larger classifications of people.
and budget limitations made it impractical to assess how narrative-based
processing might have influenced participants’ long-term thinking over
multiple months or years. Some relevant literature suggests that many of
the insights that come from experiential interventions such as this one
may not show up until long after the intervention ends (Greenberg, Rice,
& Elliot, 1993). Thus, it is possible that participants may have
experienced more meaningful effects of the narrative-based processing
realizations six months after the procedure ended, than on the day the
data was actually collected. Collecting such data was beyond the scope
of the current study. Future studies might consider narrative-based
experiential learning interventions which are followed up with
longitudinal check-ups for months or longer to explore if and how
long-term after-effects actually occur.
project was an exploratory qualitative inquiry into how the established
principles and practices of Experiential Training and Development could
be integrated with some of the applicable theories, practices and models
of intuitive thinking. The purpose of the inquiry was to develop a
coherent theory, grounded in empirical data, of exactly how intuitive
thinking manifested itself in an innovative experiential learning
procedure. To accomplish this, this procedure combined conventional
experiential problem-solving initiatives with a unique narrative-based
processing system whose use is unprecedented in the available literature
on experiential learning.
findings indicate a clear distinction between two psychological states I
have called Fixed and Fluid Intuition. Fixed Intuition operates much
like an automatic chain reaction. When triggered and not consciously
disrupted, Fixed Intuition seems to rapidly play out from start point to
end goal, one or more routines learned from years of experience. Fixed
Intuition was generally quick, oriented on future goals, and
convergently oriented. In contrast, Fluid Intuition was generally slow,
oriented towards present experience, and divergently oriented. Fluid
Intuition was associated with a deep sense of connection to other
participants in the experience, a tendency to expand awareness, and a
conscious suspension of judgement. Several implications present
Perhaps what I have so far called Fluid Intuition might be more
accurately described as a hybrid state in which cognition and intuition
interact effectively together. The notion of such a state of “optimal”
psychological performance is well documented in literature reviewed in
Chapter Two (Greenberg, Rice & Elliot, 1993). The findings of this
inquiry, especially the distinction between Fluid and Fixed Intuition,
seem to be conceptually similar to the theoretical and empirical work of
at least three other scholars. Specifically, the construct of Fluid
Intuition appears to share substantial similarities with:
Donald Schön’s conception of the “Reflective Practitioner”
(Schön, 1983, 1987),
Ellen Langer’s phenomena of “Mindfulness” (Langer, 1997,
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s description of the “Flow” state
The findings of this inquiry also suggest more practical and direct
implications for practitioners in the field of Experiential Training and
Development. The apparent success of the narrative-based processing
procedure employed in this inquiry could imply a need to consider the
effects of splitting the principle and practices of Experiential
Training and Development into two fields: Experiential Training and
Experiential Development. Experiential Training programs could continue
to use the conventional teaching-based processing methods described in
Chapter One. Experiential Development programs in contrast might find
narrative-based processing procedures useful as a technique for
“surfacing, testing and improving our internal pictures of how the world
works” (Senge, 1990, p.174). Finally, providers of Experiential Learning
programs might consider how effectively their programs already
facilitate clients into the Fluid and Fixed Intuitive states, and how
much more effective they could be if both providers and perhaps even
clients became more consciously mindful or reflective about the
psychological realities scholars now know about these two states.
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