The good news is that science is now taking intuition seriously; the bad news is that it is taking a war to do it.
What they are mostly investigating here is clairsentience, or the gut feeling of knowing something that you can't put your finger on. Turns out it's very valuable for sensing danger, which makes sense, because all animals need it, or they'll be eaten.
The ability to notice patterns at an unconscious level is very important. The ability of one's eyes to see things that they aren't looking at is important, too. Certain areas of the brain are involved, and some people's work better than others'. So, yes, clairsentient ability is probably going to be normally distributed in the population, just like most abilities.
Here's the whole article:
Brain Power - In Battle, Hunches Prove to Be Valuable - Series - NYTimes.com