Decisions are 100% emotional before the decision is made


There was a very telling/supportive article in the HBR a few years back. The focus was on a brain tumor patient who suffered surgical damage to the center of his frontal lobes. This patient had the same IQ, no language problems, his memory was 100% in tact, but he had no sense or feelings of any emotion(s).

Once that damage occurred the patient was incapable of making a decision for the remainder of his life. They would put two simple options in front of him and ask him to make a decision, and he simply could not do it.

No emotion = Impossible to make a decision. I believe Lehrer talks about the same patient/case study in his book as well.

When we conduct classroom style workshops, this rule puts many people in a state of unease or distress. They simply don’t want to believe this is the case. They’re convinced their decision making is based on logic, reason, rationale, knowledge, and/or intellect. They make emotional decisions to reject that decisions are emotional! Its actually a very fun topic to get people engaged.   (Todd Camp)

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