I am trying to figure out what "counter intuitively" actually means but I just can't understand and perceive it.

I searched up the dictionary and it says "counter intuitive" is "something that is contrary to what one would expect" but I can't really perceive the adverb of "counterintuitive" which is "counterintuitively".

For example:

1.The model is just trying to point out the dilemma of certain specific situation where people actually hurting themselves when counter-intuitively, they're only thinking about themselves.

2.Counter intuitively, you had to hit "reply" to read a thread.

What does "counter-intuitvely" contribute in this sentences?

  • 1
    The definition is the same. If you do something counterintuitively, you do it in a way that is "contrary to what one would expect." So, I counterintuitively sold cars by insulting every customer who came into the store. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Aug 8 '19 at 0:39
  • I edited my question. – lollel123 Aug 8 '19 at 2:23

An adverb can modify a verb, or another adverb, or an entire sentence or clause.

Since the concept of "counterintuitive" involves both what happened and what someone would expect to have happened, and the conflict between the two ideas, the meaning of the whole thing is a little bit complex, and the adverb is frequently used to modify whole sentences and clauses.

This is the situation in your example 2:

'Counterintuitively, you had to hit "reply" to read a thread.'

Who would imagine that you had to hit "reply" in order to read something? The whole idea is "contrary to what one would expect". So "counterintuitively" is used, as a modifier of the whole sentence, to get that point across efficiently.

  • What about the first sentence? – lollel123 Aug 8 '19 at 2:59
  • @lollel123 The 1st sentence isn't as easy to think about because it is stated in generalities. But it sounds like it concerns some situation where people have a choice of actions, and when they choose the selfish option (only thinking about themselves), their selfish behavior ends up working against their own interests. This sounds backwards ("contrary to what one would expect"), so the adverb "counterintuitively" was used as a modifier of the clause "they're only thinking about themselves". The adverb expresses the conflict betw what the people were thinking about vs. the real result. Bu... – Lorel C. Aug 8 '19 at 3:40
  • youtube.com/watch?v=t9Lo2fgxWHw at 5:13 please explain it to me i am dying because of it. – lollel123 Aug 8 '19 at 3:42
  • t this sentence doesn't work as well (in my opinion), because it is the result is the thing that is counterintuitive. It might sound a little better reversed: "... specific situation where, counterintuitively, people are hurting themselves when they're only thinking about themselves." – Lorel C. Aug 8 '19 at 3:45
  • by the way thanks it is making sense now. I thought it was about "thinking counterintuitively" but "counterintuitively" is used to say the real result is contrary to what people were thinking about( in a intuitive way). Am I correct? – lollel123 Aug 8 '19 at 3:46

Formally, we may define "counterintuitively" as "in a way contrary to what one may expect." For instance, consider the following sentence: "Sally counterintuitively paid customers to buy her products." In this case, Sally's act of paying customers to buy a product is counterintuitive (or, for that matter, contrary to expectation): a customer is expected to pay for items that he or she buys, but the opposite is happening here.

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