While in previous blogs, I wrote about emotions, cognition and the role of frontal cortex, I think that time has come to go deeper into Change Management and decision makers' emotional state. While cultural changes happen quite often in some environments, there is less understanding on how people are affected at their cognitive level when they miss emotions.
Descartes in 1628 wrote 12 rules that have constituted the basis for analysts and the subject of further discovery in neuroscience. In this case, the third rule that makes the connection to emotional feeling is : "as regards any subject we propose to investigate, we must inquire not what other people have thought, or what we ourselves conjecture, but what we can clearly and manifestly perceive by intuition or deduce with certainty" For there is no other way of acquiring knowledge". Although Descartes did not believe in a continuity between body-mind and soul, he understood that intuition leads to knowledge.
When emotions are entirely left out of the reasoning picture, as happens in certain neurological conditions, reason turns out to be even more flawed than one emotion plays bad tricks on our decision. Because emotions play a large role in intuition, the cognitive process to which we come to a particular conclusion happens without knowing all the logical steps. (Descartes' Error, by Antonio Damasio). As culture is within a social context, when many individuals with similar biological dispositions interact in similar ways, and we might experience people who are not capable to experience their feelings, their decision making process will have profound defects on the expected outcomes. What are the wider consequences when decision makers have problems with their emotional state?
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