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A definition of insight is:

The capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing.

So according to this, if you develop an insight for a person, it means you've developed an understanding of the person. And an understanding of someone can lead to acceptance? For example, would it be correct to say,

After refusing to accept Ben as his son for years, Jack finally developed an insight for Ben (and accepted him as his son).

Edit: Can you develop an insight for someone? After rereading, that part seems a little iffy.

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I would probably say something more along the lines of Jack finally grew to understand Ben. "Insight" seems like a rather impersonal word to apply to an individual, although one could easily say, developed an insight into Ben's character," meaning, "finally learned to understand Ben for who Ben really was." –  J.R. Jan 17 '13 at 23:22
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I agree with J.R. but would also add that it is more common to see "insight" used with an attribute of a person, such as, "After many conversations, Jack developed an insight into Ben's fear of commitment." or "...insight into Ben's need to be in control", etc. –  Kristina Lopez Jan 18 '13 at 0:06
    
Is it possible to "develop (an) insight for/into a situation"? (again, using 'insight' is confusing me, and I'm not sure if it's better with the an or without...) i.e. what would be the proper or common usage of insight when it's for a "thing"? (The capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing.) –  Blue Jan 18 '13 at 0:23
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See the usage notes for the first definition of insight –  Gnawme Jan 18 '13 at 0:32
    
'insight into...' –  Mitch Jan 18 '13 at 0:44

2 Answers 2

No, you can't develop an insight for something/someone (it's irrelevant whether it's a person, an area of knowledge, or whatever). That link has about a dozen relevant written instances of a usage I think is at least bordering on "illiterate".

You develop an insight into something, as per those 5,590 instances.

For me personally, the idea that a father might need to gain insights into his (adopted?) son before "accepting" him sounds rather odd, but I assume this is a matter of culture rather than language.

Like I see = I understand, the word insight is a vision-based metaphor. In other tactile metaphors (have a grasp of/handle on/feel for [something]), the preposition varies according to the particular noun used to mean understanding/knowledge/competence/control.

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I would say yes, however it would be better to use "insight into" instead of "insight for." Also, it does feel a little impersonal as a commenter said so I wouldn't necessarily use it in that exact case in your question. Grammatically, however, it is fine.

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Though I have insight for the necessity for computer languages, I have yet to have any real insight into they actually work. Though he has developed an insight for Ben's existence, he does not have any insight into the deep recesses of Ben's mind. –  Blessed Geek Jan 18 '13 at 2:14
    
@Blessed Geek: I don't think your first or third instances are at all valid uses of the word "insight", quite apart from "for" being a non-standard preposition. In both cases you just mean you're aware of/acknowledge. Your second lacks the word "how", but I assume that's just a typo. –  FumbleFingers Jan 18 '13 at 3:13
    
@cbbcbail Even if the grammar is fine, would you say the usage is incorrect (based on the context)? –  Blue Jan 18 '13 at 3:37
    
@Blue I would say the usage is unlikely. But of course it really does depend on that instance. Maybe his dad finally accepted him on a personal level after having an epiphany of what Ben was seeing. –  cbbcbail Jan 19 '13 at 3:35

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