More On Intuition & Emotional State

. Intuition has acquired a bad reputation as a source of errors and biases.

"...Its operative features which include WSIATA, intensity matching, associative coherence, amongst others, give rise to predictable biases and to cognitive illusions such as anchoring, non-regressive predictions, overconfidence, and numerous others like extreme predictions, planning fallacy, etc. What can be done about biases? How can we improve judgments and decisions, both our own and those of institutions that we serve and that serve us? The short answer is that little can be achieved without a considerable investment of effort...... Cognitive illusions are generally more difficult to recognise than perceptual illusions. The voice of reason may be much fainter than the loud and clear voice of an erroneous intuition, and questioning your intuition is unpleasant when you face the stress of a big decision......Organisations are better than individuals when it comes to avoiding errors, because they naturally think more slowly and have the power to impose orderly procedures......Such as reference-class forecasting and the pre-mortem. At least in part by providing a distinctive vocabulary, organisations can also encourage a culture in which people watch out for one another as they approach minefields. Whatever else it produces, an organisation effectively manufactures judgments and decisions...... Decisions are the framing of a problem that is to be solved, the collection of relevant information leading to a decision, and reflection and review. An organisation that seeks to improve its decision product should routinely look for efficient improvements at each of these stages..."

Daniel Kahneman 2012

. Intuition works by averages, norms and prototypes, not by sums. For example, the duration of an electric shock has little or no effect on fear; all that matters is the painful intensity of the stimulus.

. Happiness is a variant of positive feelings like love, joy, engagement, hope, amusement, etc; while negative emotions include anger, shame, depression, loneliness, etc

. More on joy. It is one of the 4 fundamental emotions; the other 3 are negative emotions, ie fear, anger and sadness

There are 2 kinds of joy, ie one is characterised by lightheartedness and the other by fierce engagement and deep concentration

"...both give pleasure by increasing connectedness and complexity in the neural systems..."
Tyson Yunkaporta 2019

Joy is associated with the following feelings

"... - pleasure (of the five senses)

- amusement (from a chuckle to a belly laugh)

- contentment (calm a kind of satisfaction)

- excitement (in response to novelty or challenge)

- relief (following upon another emotion, such as fear, anxiety and even pleasure)

- wonder (before something astonishing and admirable)

- ecstasy or bliss (transporting us outside ourselves)

- exultation (at having accomplished a difficult or hard task)

- radiant pride (when our children receive a special honour)

- unhealthy jubilation (relishing in somebody else's suffering)

- elevation (from having witnessed an act of kindness, generosity or compassion)

- gratitude (appreciation of being a beneficiary of a selfless act)

- rejoicing (in someone else's happiness)

- delight or enchantment (a shining kind of contentment)

- spiritual radiance (a serene joy born from deep well-being and benevolence)"

Paul Ekman & Matthieu Ricard as quoted by Dalai Lama et al, 2016

On the other end of the spectrum is boredom when we have a neurochemical rush of lethary and discomfort. Extended periods of this can affect a person's mental health.

. Mood at work is less affected by factors that influence general job satisfaction including benefits and status; it is more impacted by situational factors: opportunity to socialise with co-workers, exposure to loud music, time pressure, immediate presence of a boss, etc

. Attention is the key

"...our emotional state is largely determined by what we attend to, and we are normally focused on current activities and immediate environment. There are exceptions, where the quality of the experience is dominated by re-current thoughts rather than by events of the moment..."

Daniel Kahneman 2012

. For example, the joy of love and emotions of grieving can far outweigh a current emotional situation.

. Attention improves performance in many numerous activities and is essential to some tasks, including comparisons, choice and ordered reasoning; but not necessarily rational thought.

. Some of the advantages of the associative memory

- distinguishes surprise from normal events in a fraction of a second

- immediately generates an idea of what was expected instead of a surprise

- automatically searches for some causal interpretation of the surprises and other events as they take place


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