On the irrationality of emotion and the rationality of awareness

Lambie, John A. (2008) On the irrationality of emotion and the rationality of awareness. Consciousness and Cognition, 17 (3). pp. 946-971. ISSN 1090-2376

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2007.03.005


It is argued that one answer to the question of the rationality of emotion hinges on the different roles in action selection played by emotions when one is aware of them versus when one is not aware of them (awareness being indexed by the ability to report one’s emotion). When unaware of one’s emotions, they are: (a) not able to enter into one’s deliberations about what to do, and (b) more likely to be automatically acted out. This is a problem for rationality because (partly due to the logic of signal detection theory) emotional action urges are often “false positives”. In contrast, awareness of emotions crucially allows emotional responses to be inhibited: such inhibition is necessary for truly rational action selection. Furthermore, awareness enables Reflective Revision—the modification of one’s theories and action plans as a result of awareness of inconsistencies between theories and data, and action plans and goals.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Emotion, Rationality, Adaptation, Deliberative rationality, Somatic markers, Signal detection theory, Awareness, Inhibition, Reflective revision
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2010 11:02
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:18
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/108150

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