Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 44 – Reading + Pronunciation – Emotional Thinking

Welcome back to another ESL podcast, everyone! Boy, this is a good write-up from a book that I thought was pretty compelling. Listen to my podcast and thoughts about it, as well as my reading!

Emotional thinkingIs it better to think with your head or your heart? The real question may be – do you have a choice? Even people who pride themselves on being logical, rational thinkers may be more influenced by their emotions than they realise.

  • The reason for that is simple: Emotions are designed to influence behaviour. Emotions evaluate a situation and then tell us how to react. When your brain experiences an emotion, it sends a signal to your nervous system, which in turn sends signals to the rest of your body. This is why people refer to a “gut feeling.” Emotions give you this type of information more quickly and with a stronger impact than using your reasoning. They’re designed to help you make decisions quickly, especially in “high stakes’ situations, those that very important or carry some element of risk.
  • Emotional responses are often built on past experiences. Have you ever had an unpleasant experience with a bully in school, for example? If you later encounter someone in business meeting who reminds you of that person, perhaps because he looks similar or exhibits some of the same behaviour, you might feel the same emotions you felt as a child, such as fear and anxiety, and be reluctant to interact with that person.
  • Popular articles encourage people to “Listen to your guy” and to “Trust your instincts.” The problem is that these emotions won’t always be correct. The person in the business meeting might not be a bully at all, but only share the same hair and eye colour or tone of voice. Even though your emotions are telling you two people are similar, it might not be true.
  • Emotional thinking has an important impact on the workplace because it influences how people decide what to do. researchers have found that emotions carry out four key functions in decision – making:
  • They provide information. Emotions tell you whether an experience or encounter is likely to be positive or negative. Pleasure and displeasure are two emotions that serve this function.
  • They improve speed. Because emotions are felt more immediately than logical thought, they result in decisions being made faster. Fear, anger, and hunger are good examples of emotional that produce a rapid response.
  • They assess relevance. Emotions such as regret and disappointment that are based on someone’s personal history will influence how that person evaluates an event in the present.
  • They strengthen commitment to others. Community and personal connection are important in social groups, and emotions such as guilt, love, and empathy guide people to help others in their group.
  • All of these functions are important on the job; but how good are emotions at carrying them out?
  • Studies conducted about the implication of emotional thinking in the workplace have found some interesting – and sobering – results. For example, when people feel angry, they are more likely to assume a situation is less risky than it really is, and also to be less willing to admit they have made mistake. An angry manager might continue to support a failing project because he doesn’t want to admit that he was wrong.
  • When people experience fear, on the other hand, they tend to give up on projects too easily. While anger gives people too much confidence, fear takes too much confidence away.
  • People feeling sad or depressed were found to be more likely to set low prices for items they were asked to sell. However, they were also more generous towards others.
  • People who feel happy are less likely to take risks. but even happiness is not all good news. More than one study has found that happy people put more emphasis on the appearance of something than quality. There’s a reason why job interviews, when both people laugh and feel relaxed, are more likely to result in the candidate being offered the job.
  • If even positive feelings can lead to inappropriate decisions, what should a person do? While emotional thinking is inevitable, steps can be taken to add rational thinking as well. As emotional thoughts come more quickly, and yet might not be accurate, build extra time into your decision – making process. Give yourself enough time and opportunity to logically evaluate the situation. You can also               force your brain to react impartially, for example, by making a list of advantages and disadvantages of a discretion.
  • Understanding emotional thinking will help you better understand the way other people behave. If you can tell who is approaching a task with anger or fear, you will be better able to predict how they will act.
  • Nonetheless, the same event or circumstance can cause different emotions in different people. Almost everyone, for instance, feels anxiety or stress while working on projects with a deadline. But for some people, that anxiety begins as soon as the project is assigned. Other people only feel anxious when the deadline is very close. The first person will start working right away in order to get rid of or lessen the sense of anxiety. But the second won’t begin until the deadline is near because the anxiety hasn’t been triggered yet. For managers, knowing which type of person each of their employees is will help with time management and choosing which people could work  together on a team.
  • Ideally, you will never have to choose between emotional thinking and rational thinking. To maximise your ability to make good decisions, use both. Give your brain time to interpret the signals your emotions are giving you instead of relying solely on one type of input. Use every resources your body provides, in other words, instead of just some. It’s the logical thing to do, and it feels right too.

Questions in a reading text can fulfil a number of different functions.

Interest: Asking a question that makes readers interested. They want to know the answer, so they read further. sometimes a question is asked directly to the reader; this is common in introductions, for instance. The reader answers the question in his or her head, and then feels a connection to the subject.

Importance: Some questions will be directly answers in the text, and it’s important for the reader to learn the answer. A question then signals to the reader that this is essential information. If you see a question such as “What are four stages of culture shock?” then you know it’s important that you learn the four stages. Headings are sometimes phrased as questions for this purpose and exam tasks often refer to question in reading texts.

Skillful 3
  1. Is it better to think with your head or your heart?
  2. The real question may be — do you have a choice?
  3. Have you ever had an unpleasant experience with a bull in school, for example?
  4. All of these functions are important on the job; but how good are emotions at carrying them out?
  5. If even positive feelings can lead to inappropriate decisions, what should a person do?

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