Reason and emotions in decision making - Deepstash

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Feelings: what's the point of rational thought if emotions always take over?

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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Self-distancing

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 th...

Benefits of self-distancing
  • It can help people cope with difficult events from their past.
  • It can  help people deal with socially distressful situations.
  • Useful because of our tendency to display high levels of wise reasoning when we give advice to others, but not when we decide how to act for ourselves.
  • It reduces decisional biases and improves decision-making during times of information overload.
How to create self-distance
  • Use self-distancing language:  refer to yourself in the second or third-person.
  • Try to view the situation from an alternative viewpoint, that is different from your own.
  • Try to visualize the perspective of  someone you admire, and then ask yourself what would they do in that situation.
  • Try expressive writing: write about your thoughts and feelings when you’re trying to analyze an event that you’ve experienced.
The Components Of Our Emotions
The Components Of Our Emotions

Emotions are useful tools while taking a decision, when utilized in the right way. The three components of our emotional experience are:

  • Physiological: our bodily ch...
Emotions And Our Survival Mechanism

Emotions are not a disposable or unnecessary response, but are signals, giving us vital clues about the state of our mind and body, akin to pain. It is a neglected part of our survival mechanism.

Our natural reaction is to suppress our emotions, but it is increasingly apparent that repression of our emotions, especially the stronger kind, is psychologically and physically harmful to us.

Emotions In The Office

Showing emotion using empathetic and active listening is part of emotional intelligence and is greatly valued as a managerial skill set.

Studies show that empathic leaders enjoy more success and goodwill. Interpersonal communication is greatly enhanced when one is able to read someone's emotions and control one’s emotional reactions.

Our emotions are short-term biased

Our emotions are obsessed with the present moment because it’s difficult to look past our immediate fears and anxieties. And this prevents good decision-making.

The sweet spot in de...

“Risky” behavior you should consider
  • Propose “moonshot” ideas, knowing that 90% of them will get shot down, but that if one of them gets accepted, it will be a huge boost to your career.
  • Be excessively bold in your dating life, stating exactly who and what you want.
  • Buy difficult books expecting that most of them won’t be useful to you, but also that, occasionally, one will completely change your life.
  • Say yes to every invitation knowing that most of the events/people will be boring, but that occasionally you’ll meet someone really interesting.
Optimizing life for fewer regrets

Most of us are afraid of messing thing up. But we rarely ask, “Would I regret that failure?” If the answer is “no,” then that is absolutely a risk you should pursue.

Sometimes, the right decision becomes crystal clear when put into these terms.