a) thinking and feeling

. Emotions before reasons.

An uncertain and unpredictable world has resulted in a reliance on instinct, with emotions being the first screen of all information received. On the other hand, most managers are trained to dispense with emotions in favour of rational analysis, and urged to make choices using logical devices such as decision trees and spreadsheets. But emotions can never be fully suppressed. This explains why most staff cannot receive feedback in the constructive way it is often given. Owing to the primacy of emotions, people hear bad news first and loudest, and managers cannot assume that they can balance positive and negative messages. The negatives have far greater power and one negative message can wipe out all the built-up credit of positive messages. The most discouraging and potentially dangerous thing is to tell someone that he or she has failed.

In our decision-making we are not always rational. Rational conveys an image of greater deliberation, more calculation & less warmth; with a person's beliefs and preferences being reasonable. Yet non-psychologists, especially economists, look at rationality as being internally consistent rather than reasonable. Humans are not irrational but need help to make more accurate judgements and better decisions. To be rational requires more effort and we suffer from myopia, ie the failure to give adequate weight to future benefits over a immediate pleasures/ short-term gain/instant gratification/immediate satisfaction. Some examples of myopia include

i) people choosing not to save for old age, ie spend now

ii) exposing themselves to addictive substances, ie get short-term "kick" but long-term pain, eg smoking (nicotine addiction plus long-term health problems like cancer, heart, etc). Similar story for alcohol, other additive drugs, etc

iii) people sunbaking to become tanned in the short term but exposing themselves to risk of skin cancer in the long term

iv) only 1 in 9 people who underwent heart surgery changed their life-style; yet these people had the ultimate motivation, ie possible death

v) people who drive vehicles after drinking alcohol &/or taking other drugs


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