What is a Hunch?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2019
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Hunches are thoughts or ideas that occur to humans when pondering a specific situation and a related response. Typically, a hunch is not based on solid facts, although past experience and information in the possession of the individual may play a role in the development. Feelings are often a major component in the creation of hunches and are considered by some to be the single most important factor associated with this type of thought process.

Describing a hunch is difficult, since the process may be different from one person to another. Most would agree that this type of thinking does not necessarily occur on a conscious level. Hunches may seem to appear out of nowhere when confronted with a given situation. Because there is no solid formula for the development of a hunch, the strong inclination to a course of action may come about while thinking about a given subject or just appear with no signs of focused rational thought whatsoever.


Hunches often guide the choices human beings make every day. People may get a hunch on how well they will get along with someone based on a casual introduction in a social situation. Hunches may also come into play when sensing something is wrong with a loved one, prompting the individual to make some effort to assist the loved one in dealing with some perceived crisis. An investor may get a hunch to buy or sell stocks, even if market indicators and all available data would encourage a different action altogether.

Most people have experienced hunches that turned out to be very good. Second dates are often the result of hunches, allowing the couple to explore the possibility of a relationship. A good hunch may prompt someone to adopt a pet, eventually enjoying years of companionship. Some people have acquired excellent jobs because they had what seemed to be “just a hunch” and filled out an application or inquired about opportunities with a given company on the spur of the moment.

Bad hunches also take place on a regular basis. When hunches do not pan out, they can be the source of a great deal of frustration and difficulty. Bad hunches can lead someone to look for loved ones anywhere but the actual location of the friend or relative. A bad hunch may pave the way for a disastrous meal at a new restaurant, taking a wrong turn on a road trip, or going on a date that ends up being a long and excruciating evening.

The very nature of the hunch assures that some hunches will be good and others bad. Still, humans cannot seem to refrain from making decisions based on these unsupported thoughts. As part of the human condition, hunches are likely to occur as long as the human race continues to thrive.


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