Hypercognition

Hypercognition is one of those relatively new words for which there is no generally agreed definition – it doesn’t appear in any of my dictionaries.

In the field of linguistics and cognitive science the term was coined by Robert Levy to refer to an emotion for which a culture has many words (more accurately: one for which it has a sophisticated cognitive structure, possibly connected with many lexical entries for the emotion). As a variation of this, hypercognition is sometimes used as a term of abuse to refer to excess wordiness. Levy also described hypocognition, which is the opposite.

What Is Hypercognition?

In comon use, the term hypercognition refers to forms of knowledge, awareness and thought that go beyond the familar norm. Depending on one’s viewpoint this can refer either to psychic or psi powers or simply advanced mental techniques and abilities. In fiction, extreme hypercognition is sometimes a super power with its possessor being a “hypercognitive”.

Very often hypercognition manifests itself as a flashes of insight or a “hunch”. We simply know something without knowing how we know. Sometimes it can seem that there is no possible way we could have known – in these cases it is often attributed to some form of ESP, psychic power or unconscious divination. Some peope use “hypercognition” as a blanket term to categorise many forms of psi power such as precognition.

To the hardened skeptic much of this is mere coincidence and statistical fluke.

Mind Power

Another view of hypercognition is as simply a more advanced or efficient use of mental facilities that we all possess. In this world view there is nothing magical or psychic about hypercognition, it’s simply the brain operating very effectively at a deep level that we don’t consciously comprehend.

This is attributed to various factors such as an openness to new ideas, subconscious processing and an ability to sense the “gestalt” of a situation. Hypercognitive ability, according to some people, can be improved simply by “exercising” the mind, learning certain techniques and being open to what your subconsious is trying to tell you.