To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Passionate rationalism: the role of emotion in decision making

Gabriele Lakomski (Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Colin W. Evers (School of Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 6 July 2010

3747

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue that emotion has a central role to play in rational decision making based on recent research in the neuroanatomy of emotion. As a result, traditional rational decision‐making theories, including Herbert Simon's modified model of satisficing that sharply demarcates emotions and values from rationality and rational decision making, need substantial revision. The paper concludes by outlining some central features of a theory of emotional decisions that is biologically more realistic than the traditional rationalist‐cognitive model.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs contemporary scientific as well as traditional philosophical criteria in its argumentation. Methodologically, it can be described as an example of applying naturalistic philosophy to a central issue of human thought and experience, and how humans are able to value things at all on the basis of their neuroanatomy.

Findings

The paper presents some initial features of a new theory of emotional decisions that is biologically more realistic than the traditional rationalist‐cognitive model.

Originality/value

The significance and originality of this paper lies in the fact that it proposes causal investigations of the real bases for rational decision making as a central human feature which runs counter to conventional wisdom and has far reaching implications for education, to name just one discipline; it demonstrates the importance and necessity of interdisciplinary research; and it outlines an exciting new research agenda that promises to be more productive in terms of understanding and hence planning for, the way in which humans make decisions.

Keywords

Citation

Lakomski, G. and Evers, C.W. (2010), "Passionate rationalism: the role of emotion in decision making", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 48 No. 4, pp. 438-450. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578231011054707

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles