In his book The WorldBeyond Your Head, Matthew Crawford outlines why this might be the case. He uses a reoccurring example in the world of modern pop psychology, the motorcycle, to illustrate this difference.
When riding a motorcycle, there are two different ways of knowing how fast the motorcycle is travelling. The first is experiential. We simply “know” how fast we are going based on a feeling. That feeling comes from years of practice in maneuvering the motorcycle. How it handles, the pressure applied, the speed the world flies by us- these are all details that give us an innate feel for how fast we’re going. On the flip side, we could simply check the speedometer, and this would give us objective knowledge. Most people assume that people keep track of
The same thing is true when we drive a car. I had a friend in high school that drove an old bug with a broken speedometer. There was no way to actually check his speed, so he had to rely entirely on feel to make sure he didn’t break the speed limit. This individual didn’t receive buckets of speeding tickets, instead he managed to stay under control simply by the feeling of driving. If he had any question, instead of checking his speedometer, he used the traffic going by as a secondary check. When most of us drive, we aren’t constantly checking our speedometer and comparing it to the speed limit signs. Instead, we naturally fall into a rhythm of how far we have to press the gas pedal based on our environmental surroundings and the traffic that is going by us. It’s not as if we consciously decide “Now I need to speed up as I reached a larger road with cars moving faster and to do this I need to push down on the pedal by X amount.” It occurs. The environment we are in, invites the action. If the traffic speeds or slows, we have a tendency to speed and slow right along with it.