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Emotional Intelligence Tied to Better Decision-Making

Emotional Intelligence Tied to Better Decision-Making People often let their emotions trump their judgment. A recent study probing this in the journal Psychological Science suggests that understanding the source and relevance of emotions can impact how much sway they have over decision-making and affect the willingness to take risks.

“People often make decisions that are influenced by emotions that have nothing to do with the decisions they are making,” said Stéphane Côté, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

“Research has found that we fall prey to this all the time.

“People are driving and it’s frustrating,” said Côté. “They get to work and the emotions they felt in their car influences what they do in their offices. Or they invest money based on emotions that stem from things unrelated to their investments.

“But our investigation reveals that if they have emotional intelligence, they are protected from these biases.”

The study’s first experiment showed that participants with lower levels of emotional understanding allowed anxiety unrelated to decisions they were making about risk influence these decisions. Those with higher emotional intelligence did not.

A separate experiment involving the willingness to sign up for a flu clinic found that people with lower levels of emotional intelligence can also block unrelated emotions from influencing their decisions about risk, simply by making them aware that their anxiety was not related to the decisions at hand.

“The findings suggest that an emotionally intelligent approach to making decisions is if you’re feeling anxious because of something unrelated to the decisions, to not make the decisions right away,” said Côté.

The findings likely apply not only to negative emotions a person may experience but positive ones too, such as excitement.

In fact, the researchers are adamant that people should learn to pay attention only to those feelings that are relevant to the decisions being made is what counts.

“People who are emotionally intelligent don’t remove all emotions from their decision-making,” Côté said. “They remove emotions that have nothing to do with the decision.”

Source: University of Toronto

Emotional Intelligence Tied to Better Decision-Making

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Emotional Intelligence Tied to Better Decision-Making. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2013/11/21/emotional-intelligence-tied-to-better-decision-making/62346.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.