TED Conversations

Jumana Bitar

This conversation is closed.

Are emotions essential for making rational decisions?

Emotions are embedded in humans. If we can't control them, does this mean we wont be able to make rational, wise decisions? Can we even control them?

Topics: psychology
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 24 2013: You might want to read "How we Decide" by Jonah Lehrer which will give you a more accurate answer to this question using scientific research. People that lose the emotional function in their limbic system become paralyzed by indecision. They know they want chicken, fish, or steak for dinner but can't decide which one. Our limbic system calibrates our preferences through the intensity of our emotions enabling us to make a choice.

    Rational and wise are not necessarily the same thing. I interpret rational decisions as being more "emotionless" while wise decisions as the combination of both reason and emotion. If we are very good at a job or sport or other endeavor through prolonged practice then our emotional or intuitive parts of our brain tend to be more trustworthy so our "fast logic" feels right. Otherwise, include reason in your decision.
    • thumb
      Jan 26 2013: Actually what drove me to asking this question is the book by David Goleman "Emotional intellgence", but sure id love to read this one.
      Indeed, including reason in decision is important, but you said that "our limbic system calibrates our preferences....enabling us to make a choice" which i believe means that emotions drive our choices (if im wrong please tell me). but my question to you Brian is how come rational decisions are "emotionless" if they are basically motivated by emotions? Im a bit confused here..

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.