February 06, 2008

Logic and Emotion in Decision making

It is important for the decision to be backed-up by both logic and emotion. The decision can be as small as choosing an electrical gadget, or as big as choosing a career, life-partner, etc... we should first make a logically sound decision, and then get approval of our emotion.

Remember how we choose a professional career in life... We don't conclude whatever we love doing the most as our undisputed career choice. It is probably just a career option to consider. Quickly, other factors such as long-term happiness, benefits, requirements, and passion kick in. We make a logical decision that is supported-by and inline-with our emotion.

Arranged Marriages Win! A marriage is a huge responsibility and a decision of a lifetime. I bet most non-Indians are not (may be vaguely) familiar with the system of arranged marriages. They may also find it funny in the first place. But, I personally believe this concept is a perfect winner! There is analysis prior to getting emotions involved.

We have seen investments made and wars fought purely out of emotion and has no proof of reasoning. You know what I am referring to... Don't you? Such mindless actions can be evaded by putting more thought in after-effects of a decision, and thus changing the decision itself as required. Check out the article "How emotions affect economic decision making".

I am a believer of intuition. I tend to go by intuition (no reasoning required) only if:
# The decision itself is very small
# I should pick from a set of options that have no appreciable advantage over each other.

In all other cases, I believe we should put logic first to shortlist all options, and then make a final decision based on emotion. The articles at "Changing Minds" and "Practical Philosophy" have explained this concept very well.


Saagar said...

Arranged marriages aren't so easy either these days. Too many 'conditions' in your 'where' clause reduce your resultset considerably :) You will understand when you start searching for one... By the way this is first hand experience speaking...

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