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Emotions & Decision-Making

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Emotions & Decision-Making

Human emotions are inevitable; it is an innate quality or ability humans possess which makes them superior to other living beings. As defined in the dictionary, emotion is a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from an individual’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. Emotions are intrinsic factors that affect an individual’s way of thinking and approach toward a certain situation which can be associated with how one constructs the decisions he/she makes in his/her life. But do our emotions help us make rational decisions or does it cloud our judgment?

According to Spencer Gerrol (CEO of Neuro Sparks) he stated in one of his videos entitled “The effects of emotions on decision making”, there is no such thing as a purely rational decision because one cannot make any decision in the absence of emotion. He supported this claim by showing scientific evidence of previous cases in which the patient lost a portion of their brain region, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to be specific. Post-surgery, both patients ended up experiencing the same effects in which they can no longer control their emotions and make rational decisions at the same time. He stated that this led Antonio Damasio, the neurosurgeon at that time, to come up with his book “Descartes’ Error” which states how emotions and decisions are intrinsically intertwined.

Upon deciding there are two subconscious inputs one needs in order to fully come up with a decision, the rational input, and the emotional input. The rational input talks about the logical reasons one must consider before getting to a conclusion. This includes numerous variables within a large scope, it follows certain criteria and should be considered as something which will be done designated for a specific purpose – which is most of the time for the good of all. While emotional input is simply a factor driven by the emotions of an individual. A lot of people may argue which of which should be included when coming up with a decision. Most people may say that upon decision-making emotions must be set aside as they may likely cloud one’s judgment. However, if one relies on the reasons alone one would have to analyze a never-ending

list of bifurcating reasons or variables. This is why the presence of emotion is relatively significant in decision-making. The gut feeling or commonly known as our intuition helps us reach the finality of our decisions. It is important that an individual is able to recognize his/her emotions when making decisions as this helps us find our path toward what we truly desire. Emotional decisions are natural but should be in moderation, in control, or in balance.

Yes, emotions may be linked to decisions but remember that there are different types. Strong feelings like anger, excitement and fear are one of them and this gravely affects the outcome of our decisions and the speed at which we make them. When stumbling upon a big decision the number one rule is for you to carefully deduce the given situation. In events like this, although emotions are vital to decision making they must not overpower the logical reasons the individual has to take into consideration. There is a famous quotation we may often hear when overwhelmed with emotions, it says “Do not let your emotions get the best of you.” It only means that if you know and you feel that you are overflowing with emotions, when it is too strong for you to control it, then you must take a pause as this may drive you to do things you do not intend to do.

In the business industry, decisions made are critical for the success of the business. Oftentimes, in this field decisions come from the need to solve a problem or the need for a potential opportunity. In business when making a decision it is not just for the good of a single person, but rather it involves a larger community of people whose future relies on the large or small decisions made. You may question, is it then safe to incorporate emotions into decisions we make for the corporate world? I believe that it is not only safe but rather significant. In order for you to efficiently provide service to other people you must be able to sympathize with them or relate with them. Only then will you be able to understand what they need and provide them with these necessities. This is the initial step in starting a business, to gather the relevant and necessary information so one may be able to set a goal that the business will try to achieve. But one must

always remember not to overlook the risks associated with the decisions made. To always prepare and plan ahead of time in case something comes up.

Our emotions help so much for our business. Teamwork, customer satisfaction, manager-employee relationships, and employee retention can all be influenced by emotions. Moreover, decision-making, planning, negotiating, and creative thinking are all impacted by the emotional state of the brain as well. In addition to this, emotions significantly affect how many sales you make, how much money you make, and ultimately whether or not your business succeeds. For example, a higher number of customers report higher levels of satisfaction when a staff member appears to truly get their issue and be able to solve it the way they wanted. In addition to customer service, this also applies to colleagues working together because people cooperate better and forge a more enduring and powerful team when they believe that others understand them.

In conclusion, our decisions and emotions are relatively significant to each other. When the brain interprets what is happening around us using our memories, thoughts, and beliefs, our emotion is produced. This only creates the foundation that it is truly impossible for us to make rational decisions if we are unable to interpret the happenings around us. Our emotion is our cognitive ability to understand the situations we face thus helping us make decisions with logical reasoning. This will greatly help us in different aspects of our daily lives and in our critical moments. Nevertheless, one must be able to understand how our emotions affect the decision-making process and learn to find the perfect balance between logical reasoning and emotions.


  • ●  Bach. (2018, May 17). How Do Our Emotions Affect Decision Making? Bach; Bach.

    https://www.bachremedies.com/en-us/explore/blog/2018/how-do-our-emotions-aff ect-decision-making/#:~:text=Emotional%20decision%20making%20can%20affe ct,and%20optimism%20about%20the%20future

  • ●  Marquet, K. (2019, October). FemFounder: Building One Female-Owned Business at a Time. FemFounder: Building One Female-Owned Business at a Time. https://www.femfounder.co/health-and-fitness/emotions-in-business
  • ●  Business Decision-Making Guide | Smartsheet. (2018). Smartsheet. https://www.smartsheet.com/business-decision-making-process
  • ●  SPARK Neuro. (2019). The Effects of Emotions on Decision Making [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM7FEG2wKco&ab_channel=SPARKNeuro
  • ●  TEDx Talks. (2013). Heart over Head- Recognising Emotion in Decision Making: Rebecca Stephens MBE at TEDxSPS [YouTube Video]. In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNFJ3Zhy0Z4&t=245s&ab_channel=TEDxTal ks
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