What would you say if I told you most of your decisions are based on emotions?

Emotions create action and movement and the rational side of the decision is to justify the action or decision to ourselves and to others.

A number of studies conclude that 90% of our decisions are made based on emotion; that emotion will always win over logic and imagination will always win over reality.


Looking back on decisions I have made, I can agree that probably 90% of them were made with emotion and then justified with logic.

Emotion.. then logic

Be honest you know what I am talking about.

Think about those new pair of shoes, handbag, golf clubs, new TV (replace with whatever you just bought).

Ask yourself this question – when you looked at the item you purchased, for instance a new TV, did you imagine what it would be like in your home, what it would feel like when you were watching it, how great your sport, films, favourite TV programmes would look in Ultra HD, then did you justify the price, what was included with the TV, was it on sale, does someone else you know have the same TV?

So let’s look at this decision, it was made on emotions – on how it would feel to have the TV, the logic and rational side comes at the end when you are convincing yourself and others of why you bought the TV you did.

If you had a really good sales person, think about the words he used to sell you the TV, were they based on facts and figures or how great the TV was to look at and how they sold the same TV to another customer who just loves it and is very happy with their purchase.

emotional decision making_2Emotion is automatic whereas logic requires a lot more effort and evidence

We are very selective as humans as to what we listen to absorb and retain, we are hit with thousands of pieces of data all day every day and can only process so much information.

Have you ever tried to make a decision and been overwhelmed with the facts and the evidence?

I know I have.

You start doing research and then get to the point where you have information overload, you got to a store and what do you do? You make your decision based on emotion. You buy what looks and feels good to you.

Dale Carnegie said “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion”.

Emotions are very important in the decision making process

When we believe we are making a logical decision we still talk about it feeling right, so the very point of choice is always based on emotion.

In a research study, a person’s brain was wired up to recorders, they were then asked to press a red button at any time. This experiment was to prove whether the conscious or sub-conscious mind was in charge, the idea is that whichever part was in charge would show activity first… the sub-conscious started activity first.

This experiment shows that the sub-conscious is in charge, we live with the illusion that we are making conscious choices and as our emotions stem from our sub-conscious, it makes it even more likely that the decisions we make are strongly controlled by our emotions.

Emotional decision making

Have you ever found that you make better choices and decisions when you are happier and not such great choices when you are angry or sad?

I find that in most instances my clients are able to make great food choices when they feel good and don’t make as good choices when they feel sad or anxious.

I believe that emotions are signals from the subconscious.

So the next time you need to make a decision, try this technique: Take a few deep breaths in and out, put your hand over your heart and see how you feel, does the decision feel right or wrong.

If you need help understanding how to making better choices and decisions, I can help – connect with me and we can start straightaway!

Connect with Expert Kerry Madgwick

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