Logical vs Emotional Decision Making. How Do They Influence Our Lifestyle?

“Today, I went to the supermarket and started getting things on the lists. when I was lining up to pay, between taking the money and pocketing the phone, the 500 rupees note fell from my bag. The man who was in front of me slowly bent down and picked up my note. I held out my hand, waiting for him to give me back my money while preparing myself to thank him for the gesture. But suddenly, his words “What’s on the floor belongs to whoever finds it”, shocked me, and he left the place without giving a thought. I looked at the lady behind me and the people in my surrounding, they looked at me in shock and wonder. For a moment there, I was trying to evaluate myself seeking justice on my own, I left my purchases, and went after him. I spoke to him demanding my money back but he looked at me with contempt considering me invisible. When he got to the car, he slowly put his bags on the floor to take the key and open the trunk, and I thought – It’s now or never! I took his bags and told him the same thing he had said to me “What is on …”, and I started running towards the exit, between fright and laughter, taking pride in my revenge. The spectators started to applaud my act. I swear I felt a rush of adrenaline, but then I cried with laughter when I got home and found: apples, sugar, cheese, yogurt, bread, juice, jam, green peas. I had never made so many purchases with 500 bucks.”

Everyone encounters some problems in their daily life and they need to reach out on corrective decisions. In this story, the narrator decides to do justice to herself and satisfy her soul for not being cheated on herself by repeating the act with the same statement. Her decision to doing justice to herself is emotionally driven.

We make decisions based on our gut feeling and logic. Every decision is neither emotional nor logical, it depends on the situation or circumstances. Many times, we fail to make concrete decisions, the reasons may be manifold but the main reason is not analysing the situation either logically or emotionally or both.

Emotion wheel

Emotional and Logic-based decision…

Knowing getting up early in the morning is logical but sleeping for extra minutes in the morning is emotional. Knowing getting out of my comfort zone is logical but living in the comfort zone is emotional.

Logic is nothing but analysis and the systematic study of relations between two propositions that deal with acceptance or rejection. The decision based on analysis and proper study is logical.

Emotion is the response to internal and external stimuli. It is a strong feeling associated with our thought, behaviour, moods, temperaments, gut feeling. Simply, our emotions affect our decision-making by creating certain feelings.

Making effective and healthy decisions is a continuous learning process through our life experiences. Decision making starts from our childhood albeit we never realize it. Every child loves to play with their playmates like particular toys, people, and places. Parents are the main decision-maker for their children but as we grow up, our life is not well balanced as it is used to be in our childhood.

Importance of decision-making…

No one knows the outcome of the decision as most of the decision we make is emotion-based like investing money in share market including both outcomes gaining or losing of money, planning a trip, spending time with family, following your passion and hobbies, starting a family and so on, elaborates the importance of decisions in our lives.

The word decision-making exists because of alternative solutions to problems and situations. For example, deciding a route from our home to the airport may depend on external factors like if we are with our beloved one, we take the longest route and leave early for the airport to spend more time, and if we are running out of time definitely, we choose the shortest route.

It is logical to make an insurance policy as it gives good returns but it is not free of emotion. People take insurance policy with the emotion of making more money, providing financial help to the family after the policyholder. For every human being making a logical decision has emotion inside it.

Is decision making difficult?

Making a decision of swimming in the Ganges is easy but the fear of getting drowned stops us from executing our decision. It is the outcome (fear; emotion) of the situation that affects our decision making and we cover it with logic like the Ganges has very fast water flow, very chilled water, and so on.

It is not only the outcome of the situation that stops making a decision but, sometimes, it is the conditioning, behaviour, and influencers. Someone who is into suppression or helplessness conditioning and believing in ‘if it is in fate, it will happen or else not’ do not stand or make decisions for themselves. They are driven by others’ decisions.

Data-driven decisions, in my previous blog Hyper-personalization, are completely logic-based, transparent, and novel. When we face with an unsuccessful data system implementation, ‘garbage in and garbage out’ works. We all have received responses as because of technical glitch we are not able to perform this or that.

Approaches for better decision-making…

Learning from mistakes is the first approach. Learning and making mistakes is normal. The important is not to repeat the same mistakes, grab the learning from mistakes, analyse them, and move on to welcome new and better things in life.

Face the problem and take the responsibility of unfavourable outcomes. No need to ignore or avoid them. It boosts confidence and self-believe. It makes us stronger and gives a charismatic personality.

Focus on the importance of the decision and its impact on life. If someone decides to quit their job or looking for a career change, take a walk of your new career, financial strength, people or team associated with you, your family’s concerns, and if everything favours you, kudos!! you are the lucky one and, for you, it is the time for “ready steady go”.

Sharing the burden or problem with the real or associated people is the best step, I consider. If you have an eye infection, you will visit eye specialists, not orthopedics. Similarly, when you face decisions impacting other people include them in your decision, take their suggestions too. You will get a rational solution.

The Last Corner

When there is a battle between emotion and logic, emotion wins. Making a decision should not be a hasty process but a realistic one. We should determine all the factors impacting our and others’ lives. Sometimes, an unfavourable outcome of the decision can ruin everything life, career, friendship, family, etc. Though gut feeling plays a central role in making a decision, we should follow our gut feeling without ignoring the real-time impact.

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