When people think about the decisions that they have to make, they usually have an image in their mind of two forces battling against each other. They probably imagine what is often depicted in cartoons where the character has a devil on one side and an angel on another. The devil would represent the emotional, irrational, and impulsive side of the individual trying to tempt them to do something they know they should not. The angel would be the logical mechanism that identifies what’s right and wrong and also possible outcomes.

(Photo: behavioralhealth2000.com)

Researchers had this exact same idea up until a few years ago when it became clear that thinking of the decision-making process as a battle between the emotional and logical is incorrect and simplistic. The truth is that both of these mechanisms work together in many instances. As much as a person thinks that they’re making a purely logical decision, or as much as a person thinks they’re making a purely emotional decision, it is usually a mixture of the two forces that lead to the indecision that is made.

There was a study that was published at a university that showed that when a person becomes emotionally attached to an issue or when they become angry or upset, their ability to analyze and to predict the possible outcomes of the situation drastically increases. The fact that they are emotionally involved in the situation actually heightens their senses and their ability to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong.

Another study clearly showed that people get angry in situations where they might benefit from being angry. So an angry response is not just an emotional response in many cases. It is a logical response that is shown through emotion.

Emotions such as anger, shame, guilt, and frustration not only affect the person who is showing them, but they also affect the reaction of the individuals who interact with them. At times, negative behavior can produce positive results. Proof of this can be seen when a child wants something from the store and throws a temper tantrum to embarrass his parents. The parents want the child to stop acting as he is, so they give in and reward him for negative behavior.

Researchers who gather neuroscience resource information have seen time and time again the link between emotion and logic. So instead of thinking about a angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, decision-making is better defined as an angel and a demon working together to achieve the end goal.

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