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Counterintuitive means contrary to what seems intuitively right or correct. A counterintuitive proposition is one that does not seem likely to be true when assessed using intuition or gut feelings.
Scientifically discovered, objective truths are often called counterintuitive when intuition, emotions, and other cognitive processes outside of deductive rationality interpret them to be wrong. However, the subjective nature of intuition limits the objectivity of what to call counterintuitive because what is counter-intuitive for one may be intuitive for another. This might occur in instances where intuition changes with knowledge. For instance, many aspects of quantum mechanics may sound counterintuitive to a layman, while they may be intuitive to a particle physicist.
Counterintuition in science
Many scientific ideas that are generally accepted by people today were formerly considered to be contrary to intuition and common sense.
For example, most everyday experience suggests that the Earth is flat; actually, this view turns out to be a remarkably good approximation to the true state of affairs, which is that the Earth is a very big (relative to the day to day scale familiar to humans) oblate spheroid. Furthermore, prior to the Copernican revolution, heliocentrism, the belief that the Earth goes around the Sun, rather than vice versa, was considered to be contrary to common sense.
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- http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/counter+intuitive "Counterintuitive: –adjective. Counter to what intuition would lead one to expect: The direction we had to follow was counterintuitive—we had to go north first before we went south." Retrieved: 09 NOV 2010.
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