Logic and emotion tend to be considered as polar opposites. Think about the analytic CEO—his actions make sense in the science of profit, but when it means using cheap human labor or firing a couple hundred employees, there's an apparent lack of concern for the human consequences of his actions. Many choices are a struggle to compromise the two systems--and that may have to do with how our brains are wired.
A new study published in NeuroImage found that separate neural pathways are used alternately for empathetic and analytic problem solving. The study compares it to a see-saw. When you're busy empathizing, the neural network for analysis is repressed, and this switches according to the task at hand.
Anthony Jack, an assistant professor in cognitive science at Case Western Reserve University and lead author of the study, relates the idea to an optical illusion. You can see a duck or a rabbit in the image, but not both at the same time. This limitation to what you can see is called perceptual rivalry. Jack's new study takes this concept beyond visual perception, and investigates how the brain processes situations. It found separate neural networks for social/emotional processing and for logical analysis.
The study took magnetic resonance images of 45 college students as they were presented with problems involving social issues or physics. The MRIs showed that separate regions of the brain activated and deactivated according to the type of problem.
Finding a balance between the use of the two neural pathways could give insight into treatment for neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia, according to Jack.
This explains the logical breakdown of every man at the hands of a woman crying.
This explains the inability of Obama to make measured decisions on the economy without his ego getting in the way. That's why he spends spends spends to support his narcissism and why America will go bankrupt if Obama is reelected.
I think you can help someone or resolve some type of issue logically while still being empathetic simply by looking at variables like what is best course of action for all parties involved, how does it affect these parties, and then calculating the best course of action. Basically using both processes concurrently to provide the best resolution without "hurting" or causing anyone or anything else trouble. Maybe if we used empathy in our logic more often our planet wouldn't be hurting so badly.
I think there's two types of logic us humans are capable of. The first type I like to call cut-throat logic, which is taking the simplest, most logical route to do something regardless of consequences, what you typically see in nature with lower level animals. Then there's rational logic, or empathetic logic, which takes into consideration more than just yourself and what you stand to benefit from something, something both humans and other higher level animals are capable of. We are excellent at empathizing, and rationalizing things, but we are also very capable of being logical and we can do this using both parts of our brains at once. I don't believe, I can't believe that it's impossible to be logical and empathetic at the same time, no way that can be true, from my own personal experiences. Yeah different parts of the brain may light up for empathy and logic, but can't they both be lit up at the same time, or at least be switch to and from while figuring something out?
Exercise your brains people, they're billion core processors, way better than your Intel quad core.
gizmowiz, imho your comment is actually a better example of this article. your emotions about the politics wont let your brain use logic about the economy. almost everyone not talking politics agrees that we are in way better economic shape then we were four years ago.
visualize, agreed. we want to fix her problem, not cry about it.
"Logic and emotion tend to be considered as polar opposites. Think about the analytic CEO—his actions make sense in the science of profit, but when it means using cheap human labor or firing a couple hundred employees, there’s an apparent lack of concern for the human consequences of his actions. Many choices are a struggle to compromise the two systems--and that may have to do with how our brains are wired."
This has nothing to do with emotions or logic. This is solidly GREED and the pathetic pieces of crap at the top. A company that makes millions but thinks they have to lay off hundreds because of profit is a bunch of crap. When the CEO bonus is more than the salary of everyone they just laid off for a year. Also his action do not make sense in the science of profit. The only sense it makes is in the science of lining his own pockets to make his bonus bigger. This is probably the biggest bunch of crap science I have read in awhile.
This explains how our country is $16,000,000,000,000 in debt. We need more logic and less empathy otherwise there won't be a country left to pass on to our children.
I am extremely curious as to whether these findings are related to the characteristic lack of empathy often associated with Aspergers. It's possible that those with Aspergers who display this lack of empathy also display excessive logical behavior, resulting in social and mental rigidity. Physiological findings like these are amazing little factoids that can account for many other traits and are just so damn cool.
I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I'd be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I've been doing, Bat25.com
This explains why the logical and emotional aspects of my personality are so different that they almost seem to be completely separate entities at times
Vagabon7--your seriously deranged if you feel were better off. Unemployment numbers are a joke--it's gone down only because people like you are LYING in the surveys trying to promote their candidate and the real number has gone up every month because over 250,000 give up every month looking for a job and the true unemployment nationwide is over 18%.
Real unemployment numbers, are equal or higher than when Obama took office. Population growth has outstripped job growth. If you don't ignore the people that are so demoralized that they give up finding a job.
And this article is a Great example of this article.
"Think about the analytic CEO—his actions make sense in the science of profit, but when it means using cheap human labor or firing a couple hundred employees, there’s an apparent lack of concern for the human consequences of his actions. "
Cheap human labor, provided its provided legally, is perfectly good. "Sweat shops" in China are some of the best opportunities people over there have to raise their economic status. It isn't exploitative; its mutually beneficial. Meanwhile lower labor costs lead to lower prices, which is helpful for the poorer customers of a product. Or if by "cheap labor" the author meant non-unionized, then that is equally good. Because if labor costs are high, then the company often can't compete.
For example: GM, because it didn't go through a proper bankruptsy, is still stuck with its high labor cost Union Contracts. This means that GM cars typically come with about a $2000+ labor cost on ever car. That means every car from Ford or Nissan they compete with has ~$2000 more features and accessories for the SAME COST and SAME TYPE of car. And yet people wonder why GM stock and sales are floundering?
Furthermore, jobs exist to CREATE wealth. It is a myth that you can turn a profit by cutting jobs. A myth that doesn't last if you give it the most fleeting of thought. If cutting jobs increases profit, that means those jobs are costing more money than they are creating, which means they are not deemed valuable by the rest of society. If a CEO continued to employ people in jobs that were no longer profitable (like building horse carriages, for instance) then the company would go bankrupt. When that happens, the negative-profit jobs disappear anyway, but they take the still viable jobs with them. He's certainly using Logic rather than Emotion, but the Emotion in this case would be caring for individuals you like at the cost of the individuals that rely on you for a job. The logical choice has him doing his duty, and creating the most good for the most people, rather than providing favoritism for his friends.
The writer here needs to understand that emotions don't always equal good intentions. And good intentions defiantly don't equal good outcomes.
Also at some point he should understand economics. But that might strain his intelligence too much.
Sorry if this post appears rude. But I'm incapable of being considerate of people's feelings when I'm logically laying out their stupidity.
Nonsense. You can decide logically that you should be empathic, and by empathy assume that doing the logical thing will best benefit others.
One thought can ~follow~ another. They don't have to happen at the same time. This is what is called ~thinking~. Ever heard of it?
AWESOME research! As to human beings, VERY different from most - I suspected this one, but did not actually feel that I knew it. Now, I do! AND this one is about one of the big deals in my life, why a multi-decade relationship sometimes goes thermo-nuclear lol.
Does anyone else find that this study is flawed considering that all the subjects studied are about the same age? I'm seriously just asking because I don't know, but if it is commonly known and accepted that the frontal lobe isn't fully developed until about the age of 25, isn't is likely that the results would be different if they had subjects of varied ages?
This is one of the best articles ive ever read. Of course this info was obvious, its nice to see biological foundation for this sort of thing as reassurance. Now to apply some philosophy to this arguement or discover as most would see it: isn't having empathy logical? I don't see how one can truly distinguish the two, since emotions help us calculate the moral implications of a logical decision. The ability to be selfaware and intelligent is based around our ability to be empathetic if we cant apply our environment to ourselves then we are not capable of making logical decisions. Empathy allows us to have a deeper understanding of what it means to be moral rational wise thus knowing of the consequences of logical decisions I truly believe that since most people are logical then we have to be empathetic, empathy allows us to understand the proper consequences for actions, as far as that obama statement the demand side of it is the more moral in the sense that give peopl
e cheap loans its the moral thing to do however companies should also have the moral social responsibility to help as well which would be able to proved a significant level of comfort for those who need, its something that needs organization,
This one goes to the root of our social being, you get enchanted by one characteristic of someones style and you could lose a part of your logical thinking. In a criminal case people play on your empathy ..., in a relation you partner starts laughing or crying ..., in politics someone of your own group does something vs. someone of the other group and it causes different reactions, in science you criticize one project but the whole group feels intimidated ... or conclusions depend on other conclusions you like ... empathy can seep in and influence what should be logic; in religion people sympathise with some cultural roots and by doing so 'trow' some logic away, this is why some conflicts can not be settled because often logic or equality is lost, you can not make an honest call due to love for your own group. Empathy is what can make the group strong above logic individuality, having an equal enemy creates a bond ... the list of conclusions and complexities goes on and on ... being a logic might even make you come across as a cold person.
So that must be the reason for my sem- robotic emotions, I have a broken see-saw :O
This is Popular Science, not Popular Politics. Maybe try to stay on topic and not turn this into a political flame war...
That was my joke! I commented something similar on a previous article (this is PopSci, not PopPol).
If I was capable of empathy, I would empathize with you. I'm tired of dealing with narrow-minded, emotional humans who put emotion before logic and pretend to be logical.
You're right, logic does make you come across as a cold person. I know because it's happened to me.
Correction: my previous joke stated that this was PopSci, not PolSci (political science, see article about ken mapel)
Sure, people can be both at the same time, if they are being dishonest at some level. Think about all those you know that adopt a habit of saying they 'feel' blah blah blah blah when blah bla because blah blah bla bla. Except that no feeling that complex could ever be sorted out by a human, as evidenced by the fact that we can't even find the right ones to marry. But they hide, never having to commit to anything, if it's how they feel. Politicians like it as a tactic too.
several amusing comments on this :)
"One thought can ~follow~ another. They don't have to happen at the same time. This is what is called ~thinking~. Ever heard of it?"
hmmmm, pretty sure somewhere in the article they mentioned "....At The Same Time"
this is what is called ~reading~ ;)
I disagree with the premise as well as the assumptions in this article, but would need to spend more time with their findings. For starters, we know from other studies that the majority of CEOs are sociopaths. This doesn't make them "logical" since, after all, we evolved as a highly social species. Further, the neural construct that governs social interaction is larger in females than in males, which is going to skew findings as well.
And as a previous commenter noted, there's nothing logical about greed. The bad habit of hoarding in our culture is actively destroying future potentialities. It is illogical and insane.
We also know that brain region/mapping isn't definitive--it is generally similar in most people but not always. There are many nuances and differences between individuals, too many to say that a study sample is going to be determinative for the entire taxon. Plus, we're talking about college students, who aren't "done cooking" yet in the brain department. Their reasoning centers aren't fully developed. And who among us would default to the judgment of a 20 year old vs. a 35 year old in regards to either logic or empathy? Yeah, me neither.
As for myself, I'm both highly logical and highly empathetic, borderline disorder empathetic in fact (those unlucky folks who feel literal pain when observing others hurts). I've known others equally capable of this kind of synthesis/partitioning. This "study" seems more of the sort of EvoPsy exercise in justifying cherished belief systems (mythology) than in actual science.
Did I miss something, or did they fail to mention if the brains themselves male or female?
Because women have larger right-left brain connections (such as the corpus collosum), but what we were stuck on was what this mean as brain function.
In fact, for years, it has been theorized that larger left-right brain connections meant women were therefore capable of faster integration between empathy and logic (if you can integrate left/right faster, then you could experience both nearly simultaneously?)
This possibility would serve an evolutionary function, yes?
In that men were primarily the single-task leaders, unencumbered by empathy while at task decision, while women needed to integrate both logic and empathy to make decisions with regards to children
This was also a popular theory in explaining why men/women have relationship difficulties - men expect women to be "either/or" and women expect men to integrate :)
Hey, I liked that, it explained a lot.
Are you bursting my bubble and reversing these prior studies and theories? :)