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Learn or DieUsing Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization$
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Edward Hess

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231170246

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231170246.001.0001

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The Myth of Rationality

3 Emotions
Learn or Die

Edward D. Hess

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines how and when we need to mitigate the negative effects that emotions can have on our thinking, collaborating, and learning. Research has shown that emotion and cognition jointly contribute to the control of mental activities and behavior. When it comes to decision making, we should be considering the interaction of our cognition and our emotions, rather than expecting to use only the former and completely ignoring the latter. According to leading neuroscientists Mary Helen Immordino-Yang and Antonio Damasio, the interaction of emotions and rational thought processes gives emotions a potent modifying role in how we see the world, learn, and make decisions. They call this interaction “emotional thought.” The processes of individual learning and the processes necessary to become a learning organization are much more complicated than just learning to think better and to make better decisions. Rather than rejecting the role of emotions in our so-called disembodied rationality, we must acknowledge and manage them to have better outcomes.

Keywords:   emotion, thinking, learning, cognition, decision making, rational thought, emotional thought, learning organization, rationality

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