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  • Writer's pictureMichele Evanson

Head Vs. Heart ~ Emotions Influence Logical Decisions

Logic Vs Emotion.

A Head Vs. Heart emotions experiment was completed by University of Texas investigators, Raghunathan and Huang. Subjects were shown a photo of a nice, plump poultry and an image of a poultry that was slender and sickly. They were told that the plump poultry was natural and the lean one was genetically modified. For the first group, the investigators explained the plump poultry wasn't as tasty, however, it was much healthier than the skinny one. The 2nd group was told that the plump poultry was tastier, but the lean one was healthier. The outcomes? When asked which poultry they’d rather eat, both groups selected the plump one. The first group clarified their actions by stating that health was more essential than preference, but the second, clarified that preference was more essential than health. Both groups were wrong. They made the choice they did because they formed an emotional relationship to the plump poultry from the beginning of the experiment. Not only did it seem from the start of the experiment natural, but their logic for picking that chicken came following the facts and were formed to suit their psychological motives. Therefore, starts the age-old tug-of warfare between the mind and the center. While humans should make logical selections, they mostly base it on what they know, plus, their emotions, memories, opinions and life experiences. To be frank, without emotion, humans would be quite incapable of making any decision, let alone a logical one. Emotions are basically shortcuts built by the brain to generate emotions that then guide decisions and actions. And, since you do not really have emotions on certain topics, i.e. like when in a grocery store and it’s time to draw up a list while standing in the aisle. Usually you allow your emotions to take over.

Logic comes in when rationalizing the choice that you would. When rationalizing the conclusion for a purchase, for example, but rationalize the choice, i.e. “since this brand of paper towel works well”. Occasionally, logic can overcome emotions for bigger decisions: you’d love to purchase a sports car because you’ve loved them since you were a kid, however, it can make more sense to purchase a sedan as a commuter car. Been there! Logic wins out. Together, emotions and logic pair, becoming a decision-making powerhouse.

Think about how Logic Vs Emotion applies in your work environment. Are decisions being made by people using their head or heart?

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