On the irrationality of emotion and the rationality of awareness☆

Consciousness and Cognition 17 (3):946-971 (2008)
Abstract
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 . When unaware of one’s emotions, they are: not able to enter into one’s deliberations about what to do, and more likely to be automatically acted out. This is a problem for rationality because 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
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