The Fundamental Importance Of Emotions In Decision Making

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The fundamental importance of emotions in every decision-making process has been widely understated and misrepresented.

We all know fairly well how emotions (both positive and negative) can lead to poor decisions. But what most people don’t seem to know is that if we eliminate emotions from any decision-making process we would not be able to go to make a decision.

To put it simply, without emotions most decision-making processes would get stuck!

Just think about a very simple decision, should I eat an apple or a pear? Leaving emotions of how we feel about something outside of the equation would force us to rely entirely on a purely logical analysis of each fruit to determine which is best for us. Suppose each fruit offers equal benefits in terms of the nutrients that our body needs, which one should we choose? We are stuck!

When two options have the same weight from a purely logical perspective we are stuck without emotions. And this is a major problem for A.I., since algorithms can only have “emotions” built into them to a certain extent.

Now, the question is: what emotions should we incorporate into our decision-making processes?

Should we go with the happy feeling of the color of the fruits, or the sweet perception of their taste?

In the end, when dealing with such a simple case, the final outcome may be irrelevant. However, what if one of the fruits were poisoned and we knew it?

This changes everything and brings into the stage a major player in every decision-making process, namely, the intention behind it.

Intention may be the single most important element in every decision-making process to help us understand and realise beforehand whether the outcome will be positive and sustainable, or not.

The main problem with most decision-making processes is that people may not even aware of any intention behind it. They are simply driven by positive or negative emotions in terms of immediate satisfaction or dissatisfaction, that is, positive or negative Hedonic Tone or Valence.

Decisions based on emotions, driven by immediate satisfaction, usually fail to deliver positive and sustainable outcomes.

Hence, the importance to think critically about the intention behind our emotions before we undertake any action. Keep in mind that intention, like emotional intelligence, is just one of the 19 attributes of critical thinking.

We can think about emotions in a similar way as we do about inflation, namely, as long as it is under control, it is good and necessary.

Emotions are certainly a fundamental part of human existence and therefore only reinforce the need to become Tropophilic and further develop our emotional intelligence — along with all of our critical-thinking skills — to build our most desirable future based on the power of our vision!

JC Wandemberg Ph.D.

President & Founder

Sustainable Systems International

About the author: Dr. Wandemberg is an international consultant, stocks trader, professor, and analyst of economic, environmental, social, managerial, marketing, and political issues. For the past 30 years Dr. Wandemberg has collaborated with corporations, communities, and organizations to integrate sustainability through self-transformation processes and Open Systems Design Principles, thus, catalyzing a Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Integrity.

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