Emotion is the key in most, if not all, decisions


Unknown--Courtesy of Pixabay

Yin and Yang resembles the balance needed between emotion and logic.

Taylor S. Fischbeck, Editor

Emotion or logic? That’s a question that has been asked multiple times, especially when it comes to decision making. Some people believe emotion should have more control over your decisions and some believe that logic should be the main driving force when in reality, it’s both. Unfortunately, one usually beats the other and more often than not, it’s emotion. 

“I think a lot of our logical thinking is actually affected by our emotions whether we realize it or not,” said sophomore Kaila Gray. “I think, personally, our emotions tell us a lot. Like how we have gut feelings and we learn so much from our emotions. Not only us but about other people. When we see people go through things and when we go through things, we understand things more. I think it just all goes back to emotions.”

Emotion is at the root of everything. People’s emotions are what make them human. It influences the attitudes we have toward certain things thus making decisions off of those feelings. “Intense sadness could prevent you from taking action. Or, fear of rejection may stop you from stepping outside of your comfort zone. When you are happy the choices you make could be different from the decisions you make when you are indifferent or sad,” said journalist Thomas Oppong in Psychologists Explain How Emotions, Not Logic, Drive Human Behaviour.

Michael Levine of Psychology Today stated that, “It is said that emotions drive 80 percent of the choices Americans make, while practicality and objectivity only represent about 20 percent of decision-making. Oh, and forget about making a decision when you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. The acronym ‘HALT’ is exactly the point here: Don’t do it! If you make a decision while feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (or God-forbid some combination of more than one of the above), emotion wins 100 percent of the time and will likely push you in the wrong direction.”

There are times when people make a decision when they feel a negative emotion and often regret it later. This can be seen as a good argument that emotions should be ruled by logic, not emotion. “I think the best way to make decisions is through logic because then you can weigh the pros and cons using the facts,” senior Sierra Loertscher said. “Emotions are temporary but facts stay the same. It is much easier to come to a conclusion when emotions aren’t in the way.”

While facts are incredibly helpful in making decisions, people truly need a balance between the two. “I think [both emotion and logic are] needed to make good decisions, but when one starts trumping the other, sometimes that can lead somewhere bad,” said senior Sarah Seaman. “Sometimes we run into tricky situations where there […] isn’t a ‘right’ answer, and if we let logic completely dominate emotion, we could end up damaging relationships, our mental health, or something similar. Conversely, if we were to let emotion alone govern a decision, we might only gain temporary satisfaction and then regret the decision later.”

Some may decide that emotion is the best way to make a decision and others may argue logic. Whichever it is, people should take into consideration that one can’t work without the other. As senior Paige Smith said, “It’s more than just one or the other. It’s kind of like a yin and yang. You have to have both.”