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TOK presentation - How does emotion influence decision making?

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Flora Agsten

on 8 March 2015

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Transcript of TOK presentation - How does emotion influence decision making?

How does emotion influence decision making?
Hanna Abraha, Flora Agsten, Nana Stepanyan
We are more likely to reach a conclusion that is pleasing to us.
Confirmation Bias:
a type of cognitive bias that involves favoring information that confirms previously existing beliefs or biases
The possibility of neutral observation persists.
Natural science:
a study based on observational and empirical evidence, that describes and predicts natural phenomena
Emotional bias is more likely to cancel out within a group of people.
each person comes with their individual emotional biases contributing to their decision making, the accumulation of said biases may serve to cancel out within a large group of people
Ethics & Law
The experience of emotional hardship increases susceptibility to religious ideas.

the ability of religious faith to become an intimate area of life, that descends the mortal plane of imaginative faculty, makes it more attractive to individuals whose lives have been marred by emotional hardship and are furthered by a lack of scholastic education
Religious practices improve capability of reasoned thinking.

a set of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, when considered as the creation of supernatural entities
Ethics & Law
"In a set of 271 cases from four areas, juries gave wrong verdicts in at least one out of eight cases"
a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct, which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties
"Students who attend religious services weekly average a GPA .144 higher than those who never attend services"
The N-ray Fiasco:
N-rays were a hypothesized form of radiation, described by French physicist Prosper-René Blondlot in 1903, and initially confirmed by others, but subsequently found to be illusory
Real Life Application
Natural Science
Less people provide less opportunity for emotional manipulation.
Natural Science
Ethics & Law
Real Life Application

"Emotion - Theoryofknowledge.net." Theoryofknowledge.net. N.p., n.d. Web.

“Defining Decision Making.” Boundless Management. Boundless, 13 Nov. 2014.

Damasio, Antonio R. Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. London: Penguin, 2005. Print.

"Definition of Science." - Knowledge Attained Through Study. Explorable.com, n.d. Web.

Cherry, Kendra. "What Is a Confirmation Bias?" What Is a Confirmation Bias? About.com, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

"Ethic." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webste,Incorporated. n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethic>.

Fieser, James. "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, n.d. Web.

"Definition of Law in English:." Law. Oxford University Press, n.d. Web.

"Religion." Thefreedictionary.com. N.p.: Farlex, n.d. Web.

Lee, Chris. "Confirmation Bias in Science: How to Avoid It." Arstechnica. Condé Nast., n.d. Web.

Hackett, Conrad, and Brian J. Grim. Global Christianity – A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population. Rep. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 19 Dec. 2011. Web.

University of Iowa. Teens Who Attend Religious Services Do Better in School, Study Shows. University of Iowa News Release. University of Iowa, 18 Aug. 2008. Web.

"Feeling Our Way to Decision." The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media, 28 Feb. 2009. Web.

North Western University. Empirical Legal Studies. NEW STUDY SHOWS HOW OFTEN JURIES GET IT WRONG. NEW STUDY SHOWS HOW OFTEN JURIES GET IT WRONG. North Western University, 26 June 2007. Web.


Evans, Carolyn. Seedling Fertile Ground. Digital image. Life, Hope & Truth. CHURCH OF GOD, A WORLDWIDE ASSOCIATION, INC., 15 Sept. 2010. Web.

Architect-law. Digital image. The Architect and The Law. AIDEC World, n.d. Web.

Vector - World Religions, Dove of Peace. Digital image. CanStockPhoto. N.p., 23 June 2012. Web.

ArtConerShop, Stefan. ORIGINAL Abstract World Map Watercolor Painting, Colorful World Map 14x20 Inch, Decorative Art. N.d. Watercolor painting. Netherlands.
a strong instinctive feeling as
distinguished from reasoning or knowledge
Real Life Situation
Descartes' Error - Case of patient Elliot
Decision Making:
conscious mental process of
choosing between a belief or
course of action among
several alternative
when presented with data we are free to interpret it in whichever way we see fit; while certain trends may support or refute a hypothesis, most of the analysis depends heavily on the person conducting it
when using a universally accepted standard system of quantifying, classifying and processing data there is little room for confirmation bias and therefore falsification of statistical evidence
legal practice is largely based on persuasive techniques, a larger group of people provides more surface for manipulation of emotional bias
increased awareness of one's emotional predispositions may aid in building a stronger foundation for reasoned decision making processes to take place
Blondlot was able to reach a conclusion based off of his own personal bias, which made the discovery of N-rays hugely beneficial to his cause
using the original quantitative data others were able to uncover this fraud
the use of persuasive techniques is able to evoke emotional responses that may not necessarily result in the best decisions to be made
seeing as there is no direct personal gain there is no incentive to make the right decision
understanding emotional bias and being able to limit one's application of it may ultimately lead to an increased ability in reasoned thinking and therefore improve performance in subjects that rely heavily on it
this would oppose the argument that religion is prevalent within emotionally challenged and undereducated communities
"Emotions don't impede rational thought, they underpin it."
- Jonah Lehrer

emotions provide a foundation on which reasoned thinking can occur and be prioritized to ultimately make decisions
decisions are easily altered by appealing to emotional biases and therefore susceptible to persuasion
by becoming aware of our emotional preconceptions we may be able to overcome these persuasions to arrive at the most beneficial decision
Natural Science
Are emotions at all involved in the decision making process?
100 recorded respondents
at least 10 different geographical locations
conducted over the course of 2 days
purpose of the investigation unspecified
Consider the following options and choose the one that appears most beneficial
to you.
Both a box set and online access to your favorite TV show for $100
A box set of your favorite TV show for $50
Online access to all episodes of your favorite TV show for $100
Taking into account
that one option has been removed, please reconsider the following and choose
what appears most
beneficial to you.
A box set of your favorite TV show for $50
Online access to all episodes of your favorite TV show for $100
Consider the
following options
and choose the one
most beneficial to you.
(Assuming the price
remains the same for
all options)
A weekend trip to Paris,
all drinks included
A weekend trip to Rome, drinks are NOT included
Taking into
account that one
option has been added,
please reconsider the
following and choose what
appears the most beneficial
to you.
(Assuming the price
remains the same
for all options)
A weekend trip to Rome, drinks are NOT included
A weekend trip to Rome,
all drinks included
A weekend trip to Paris, all drinks included
WOK: Reason
WOK: Sense Perception
WOK: Intuition
WOK: Language
WOK: Faith
WOK: Reason
the experiment shows that while reasoned thought does play an important role in the decision making process, emotion will ultimately overrule any reasoned argument as the personal gain is greater
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