Chapter 2: Social Intuition

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” ~Helen Keller

As Jackie Larsen left her Grand Marais, Minnesota, church prayer group one morning in April, 2001, she encountered Christopher Bono, a short, clean cut, well-mannered youth. Bono said that his car was broken down and that he was looking for a ride to meet friends in Thunder Bay. “I told him to come to my shop and I would look up his friends in the phone book and they could come for him,” Larsen later recalled.

When he appeared before her, Larsen felt a pain in her stomach. Initially she thought that he was a runaway, but something told her something was very wrong. She insisted that they talk outside on the sidewalk. “I said, ‘I am a mother and I have to talk to you like a mother….I can tell by your manners that you have a nice mother.’” At the mention of his mother, Bono’s eyes fixed on her. “I don’t know where my mother is,” he said.

As the conversation ended, Larsen directed Bono back to the church to talk with the pastor. She also called police and suggested that they trace his car. It was registered to his mother in southern Illinois. When police went to her apartment, no one answered. Breaking in, they found blood all over and Lucia Bono dead in the bathttub. Christopher Bono, 16, was charged with first-degree murder.

Jackie Larsen had a feeling. She intuitively sensed that something was not right. Such feelings often come quickly….

Chapter Contents

Reading “Thin Slices”
Our Dual Attitude System
Academic and Social Intelligence
The Body’s Wisdom
Testing Social Intuitions
The mere exposure effect
Spontaneous trait inference
Moral intuition
Contagious moods
Empathic accuracy
Detecting lies
Women’s and Men’s Intuition
Gender and empathy
Gender and decoding emotions
Gender and “ways of knowing”