Emotions vital part of important decisions

Emotions play a critical role in the decision-making process, as they incorporate our ‘higher ideals,’ such as values and principles, Toronto commercial arbitrator Marvin Huberman tells Lawyers Weekly.

“This is well supported by early rhetoricians like Aristotle and later Cicero and by modern-day research from behavioral economics, psychology and neuroscience,” Huberman explains in the article.

He also refers to Daniel Kahneman, an Israeli-American expert on the psychology of decision-making, who said: “We think, each of us, that we’re much more rational than we are. And we think that we make our decisions because we have good reasons to make them. Even when it’s the other way around. We believe in the reasons, because we’ve already made the decision.”

However, Huberman notes that this does not mean emotions necessarily produce worse decisions than we would make if we were entirely rational.

“Important decisions — especially those involving people — must include emotion,” he says, “because emotion incorporates values, concepts like right and wrong, principles, the higher ideals in life.”

As the article notes, it is also evident that excessive emotion can impair judgment and lead to poor decisions — either via feelings of anger of frustration, or an overly euphoric mood.

One effective technique to get a handle on your emotions, says Huberman, is to slow down.

“People are hardwired to make quick decisions, but that comes with risks. To manage that, slow down, think, prepare, analyze. Aim for balance, synergy between emotion and reason. Sleep on it,” he says.

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