- Is 'intuition' related to 'extrasensory perception' (ESP)? As far as I know, ESP is not accepted by the scientific community but I could not conclude the same about 'intuition'.
You're correct, ESP is not accepted by the community, and presuming, for the sake of argument, it could be true, the scientific experiments should be trivial to be done and replicated.
- If they are related, how does scientific community explain 'intuition'?
Intuition is deeply embedded knowledge you have acquired. As a simple example, when you hear a foreign speaker, you "just know" that some words "sound" wrong. And so would they, if you try to speak their language without having acquired it over many years (and most specially, the younger years).
There are at least three schools of thought here, not at all incompatible, in my opinion:
- System 1 versus System 2
In the first school/set of studies one calls intuition as "System 1", and research tends to focus on deviations from "rationality".
As an example: a bat and a ball cost 1.10, the bat costs 1.00 more than the ball. How much is the ball?
Subjects respond .10. But that is the wrong answer. Here is the wikipedia page on "Thinking, fast and slow", from Daniel Kahneman, and here is the one on its major school of thought.
- A second school, mostly headed by Gary Klein and colleagues, concerns recognition-primed decision.
Here we have the ongoing action of jet pilots or firefighters as they rush to solve rapidly changing situations. The books by Klein and the references on the wikipedia page will give you some pointers.
I have a presentation of his work here (never mind slide 10), and I have proposed that this model is reconcilable with the amazing results of Benjamin Libet, and the slides are here.
- Computer models of fluid concepts.
Another set of researchers, following Douglas Hofstadter, have built computer models that are, in a very simple way, "intuitive". You may want to check "Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies" and the later thesis (Called Phaeaco, Musicat, Metacat, SeqSee, Letter Spirit, or my own project Capyblanca on an intuitive chess machine, published here and here, with source code available here).
These models have some deeply embedded knowledge that can reflect the properties of human intuition. A simple example is the project Numbo (on Hofstadter's book), that "knows" that 19x21 is "close" to 400, but still has to do some "thinking" to get to the correct answer. Here we get in-between System 1 and System 2: System 1 "points" to a number close to 400, and System 2 kicks in and does the final computing.
If your interest is on computers & intuition, you should definitely read Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies and the above thesis.
I also did a quick interview to "Psychology Today" some years back about intuition, but that's more about pop journalism than actual science. In my opinion, this is one of the most promising areas of research in cognitive science.