Reason and emotions in decision making

Reason and emotions in decision making

Decision making is a complex process, that engages both reasoning and emotions. Even the most emotional person uses rational thought when deciding, and even the most rational person is affected by emotions when making decisions.

Still, we often tend to highlight the negative role of emotions in decision making.

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It may seem like life would be easier this way, but evolution has supported the development of feeling and thinking exactly because we need them both.

Feelings handle our desires and needs now (immediate decisions when danger is imminent), while rationality is preserving our interests and wellbeing in the future (we would lose interest in anything that doesn’t provide us with instant pleasure without it).

They feed and reinforce one another. The best rational decisions take feelings into account.

If you want to go on a diet for example, the best option is not always picking the one with the smallest calorie intake, but the one that you like the most and can stick with.

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Emotions and intuition are not fallible tools that always need to be ignored or even corrected by rational faculties,.

Intuition is the result of a lot of processing that happens in the brain but has not yet reached your conscious awareness. 

Is it rational to trust your gut feelings? A neuroscientist explains

The act of increasing the psychological distance from your own subjective perspective when assessing events that you experience.

Is an external perspective that you can use when thinking about an event that you’ve experienced, where the self who is analyzing the event is considered to be distinct from the self who experienced it. 

Self-Distancing: What It Is and How You Can Use It to Make Better Decisions

Every decision we take, has a tradeoff, an opportunity cost. Instinctively we try the all-out approach, resulting in failure.
The real problem lies in our judgment of the opportunity cost.

Tradeoffs: The Currency of Decision Making

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