Around the world, millions of people make decisions every day. It's easy to assume that we are the originators of our decisions and actions, but much of the time, our decisions and actions are based on past experiences. Whether it be someone else's advice or our own past experience, we end up basing our decision-making off of a previous experience.
In a world that moves very quickly, it’s easy to make decisions based on prior experiences, without stopping to examine all available information.
If you rationalize a bad decision by focusing on the positive experience, instead of recognizing it as a failure or mistake, you'll be more likely to repeat the same behavior in similar situations.
Have you ever wondered why you do or say certain things that don't make a lot of sense? Why do we make some choices and then justify them when there are clear reasons not to make them? We often ignore the facts and opinions of others to justify our decisions because we have our own reasons for believing what we do. When we choose something, despite all evidence present, we tend to add new justifications that allow us to feel better about our choice. We call this experiential rationality.
Because when the immediate results of a decision or action are positive, we tend to selectively overlook any negative aspects. Why? Because if you come away feeling good, why would you change how you operate?
After making an important decision, take some time to reflect on how this decision could negatively impact you in the future. Keep in mind that while experiences can affect our future decisions, they don’t define them. They simply provide crude context. Reflecting on experiences and emotions is one cornerstone of using evidence-based decision making.
Experiential rationalization is often associated with and driven by emotional rather than rational thinking. It works to explain how your past experiences and especially what you felt or experienced can be used to justify decisions and actions you make or have made in the past, and in particular to override or discount any negative emotions or experiences associated with these decisions and actions. By justifying a decision or action based on our feelings rather than the facts, we effectively create post-hoc justifications that may not be rational on their face.
Have you ever made a decision or taken action, and then tried to rationalize that decision or action by drawing upon the positive experiences associated with it?
We 're all susceptible from time to time, whether it's buying the shoes that we've always wanted, quitting our job and starting our own business, or accepting an offer for a new car.
It's normal to feel this way sometimes. Experiential rationalization can cause us to justify our decisions and actions. In practice, this process means that we are likely to attribute the positive outcomes of a decision, action, or experience to something other than the true reason. For example, if someone experiences success after taking a risk, they might attribute their success to a higher purpose rather than to their own consistent action.
An important tool for self-improvement is self-reflection. There are times when these reflections are incomplete, inexact, and even cognitively distorted, which creates a biased and unrealistic picture of the situation.
Introspection is a form of self-observation and assessment of one's mental processes, but it is not necessarily accurate. Introspection is heavily influenced by our own biases and subjective interpretation. For this reason, it is important to seek objective feedback from others when making decisions.
Creating emotional self-regulation, clarifying purposefulness, effective motivation factors, and benefiting action strategies often involves self-awareness and inner knowing. In order to make better decisions, we need to be able to objectively examine the decision making process itself. We should seek outside feedback from others and use systematic approaches to decision making.
We are, however, inherently tainted and often stifled by our introspection - so we are overly confident as a result of the introspection illusion.
The introspection illusion is the tendency of individuals to believe they have direct insight into their minds and the reasons behind their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This can lead to biased or incomplete decisions and overconfidence. To avoid this, it is important to seek objective feedback and use systematic approaches to decision-making.
Understanding the role of experiential rationalization can reduce many of these consequences, especially if we learn from our past experiences and make small changes in the future.
When individuals rely on introspection to make decisions, they may believe that they have a clear understanding of their own preferences and thought processes. However, research has shown that people are often unaware of the true reasons behind their thoughts and behaviors. As a result, decisions based on introspection may be biased or incomplete.
Experiential rationalizing refers to the process of limiting or restricting oneself from certain experiences or emotions.
This can contribute to emotional rigidity and insecurity because it prevents us from fully engaging with our emotions and experiences, and can lead to a narrow and limited perspective on life.
For example, if we have experienced rejection or failure in the past, we may rationalize our experiences of vulnerability or risk-taking in order to avoid the pain of those past experiences. This can lead to emotional rigidity because we become stuck in a pattern of avoiding certain emotions or experiences, which can prevent us from learning and growing.
Experiential rationalizing can also contribute to insecurity because it can lead to a lack of confidence and self-esteem. When we limit ourselves from certain experiences or emotions, we may begin to believe that we are not capable or worthy of experiencing them. This can lead to a cycle of self-doubt and self-sabotage, as we may avoid opportunities or situations that could lead to growth and fulfillment.
In order to overcome emotional rigidity and insecurity, it is important to challenge our beliefs and attitudes about ourselves and our experiences. This can involve practicing self-compassion and self-care, seeking constructive feedback from others - gradually exposing ourselves to new experiences and emotions in a safe and supportive environment.
By doing so, we can develop greater emotional flexibility and resilience, and cultivate a more secure sense of self.
Outside influences, such as the people and environments around us, can have a significant impact on the development of our volition and emotional self-regulation. These influences can either be beneficial or adverse, depending on a variety of factors.
Beneficial outside influences can include positive role models, supportive relationships, and environments that encourage self-reflection and personal growth. These influences can help us to develop a strong sense of self and the ability to regulate our emotions in a healthy and adaptive way. For example, having a mentor who models effective self-regulation strategies can be incredibly beneficial in helping us learn how to manage our emotions in challenging situations.
On the other hand, adverse outside influences can include negative role models, unsupportive relationships, and environments that promote unhealthy behaviors or attitudes. These influences can hinder our ability to develop strong volition and emotional self-regulation skills. For example, growing up in an environment where aggression and violence are normalized can make it more difficult for an individual to learn how to regulate their own anger and respond to conflict in a nonviolent way.
It is worth noting that outside influences are not the only factor that influences the development of volition and emotional self-regulation. Genetic and biological factors, as well as individual experiences and personal choices, also play a significant role.
Therefore, the quality of the outside influences we experience can have a profound impact on our ability to develop strong volition and emotional self-regulation skills. Seeking out positive influences and working to mitigate the impact of negative ones can be an important part of personal growth and development.
Questioning is crucial - both within your own self-awareness and within feedback from others. Asking questions allows us to gain insight into our own thoughts and actions, as well as giving us perspectives from those around us.
- We should seek outside feedback from others and use systematic approaches to decision making.
- Experiential rationalizing can also contribute to insecurity because it can lead to a lack of confidence and self-esteem.
- In order to overcome emotional rigidity and insecurity, it is important to challenge our beliefs and attitudes about ourselves and our experiences.
- Outside influences, such as the people and environments around us, can have a significant impact on the development of our volition and emotional self-regulation.
- Beneficial outside influences can include positive role models, supportive relationships, and environments that encourage self-reflection and personal growth.
Overall, experiential rationalization is an effective strategy for expediting our decision making experience. However, it can also lead us to make detrimental decisions without considering a broader range of possible outcomes. By being more aware of these cognitive biases, we can avoid falling victim to this process and more objectively evaluate the information in front of us. By making an effort to consider both the good and bad of our decisions, we can make better choices in the future. Or, as researchers at MIT put it: "Looking at the big picture forces you to confront reality."
Our unconscious behavior patterns and decisions effect every area of our life. We reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships. So let's take the first step to learning how to use our decisions to make better judgments.