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Since time immemorial, emotions have always been a fundamental constituent of human beings. However, not all humans attach or detach the same emotions towards things; different people feel differently about varied things and that is why we are all termed as being unique. It is based on this difference in emotions that a lot of debates and researches have been going around in trying to establish whether the emotions we have affect the brain or conversely, whether the brain affects the emotions.
Other researchers have-on the other hand- been looking at the subject of emotions differently by opinionating that it varies from one culture to another, one gender to another or even differing based on varied contexts. It is therefore important to circumspectly look at all the angles that have been propagated by different people if an inclusive and satisfactory answer is to be found for the above questions. Many of the studies that have been conducted by researchers highly suggest that the brain largely determines what we feel about different things.
Researches by Norman (2003) support this argument by saying that human attributions for different things result from the brain which in effect dictates human behavior. He further says that humans have large brains than other animals and that is why they are able to act more maturely when expressing their emotions. Elder (1996) gives an example by saying that if we feel fear (which is an emotion), then it is based on the fact that we believe (a signal from the brain) something is threatening to us. According to her, Critical thinking precedes and emotional reaction.
However, both of these are equally important and signals them should be treated with equal importance. Waxler (2004) also sentiments that “Our thoughts have profound effect on our emotions, and by learning how to think in our own best interest, we improve our emotional condition. ” He proceeds and says that since it is easy to review our thoughts and even control them, then it becomes even easier for us to control our emotions and feel things that are appropriate for us. However, this capacity of the brain to control things has been subject to misuse by some people.
Elder (1996) says that “As we mature, we learn multiple ways to manipulate others, to influence or control others to get what we want. We even learn how to deceive ourselves as to the egocentrism of our behavior. ” this is sometimes even taken to the extent of faking feelings like, empathy, generosity, kindness when in real sense, we mean the exact opposite. So the next time you see someone acting “all good,” be careful because you may just and read between the lines; you may be happy when all that is being done for you is getting fed on lies. On the other hand, other researches purport that emotions affect how we think.
An example is the finals of the 2008 FIFA world cup of where Zinedine Zidane, a renowned footballer of France, head-butted Matterazi (an Italian player) after the Italian allegedly made some abusive remarks to him. Speaking after the Interview, Zidane said that he was overwhelmed by emotions and all he could think of at that particular time was t o harm Matterazi. Matsumoto (n. d. ) furthers this argument by saying that “It is by controlling their emotions that athletes are capable of maintaining high levels of critical thinking and focus, regardless of what sport they are in.
” He goes ahead and opinionates that whenever we are emotional, the capacity to think critically is reduced. As a result, athletes who are normally emotional have the tendency of easily losing focus. Tarleton (n. d. ) similarly support this idea by saying that “Emotions influence how we perceive and react to life, which in turn, determines how content and/or successful we are. The conceptualization or perception of something-according to them-results from feelings that are harbored in our emotions.
So if we are able to control our emotions, then it becomes very easy for someone not to think-and consequently-act irrationally. Elder (1996) reports Goleman’s assertion that sometimes feelings come before thought. According to Goleman, “the emotional mind is far quicker that the rational mind, springing into action without pausing even a moment to consider what it is doing. ” This is relatively dangerous as one may act in a way that is not appropriate and consequently end in problems. On the other hand, it may come in handy more so in situations where a person is in a dilemma and is lost for choice yet needs to act aptly.
In addition, there is also a group of researchers who hang in the middle of this debatable subject by saying that both the brain and emotions mutually affect one another. In explaining this symbiotic relationship, Tarleton. edu (n. d) say that “Our thoughts influence how we feel. How we feel influences how we think. These connections are bi-directional and complex. ” They go ahead and explicate this by saying that thinking about something good improves our mood while thinking negatively destroys it.
Recent studies by some scholars have fundamentally brought an interestingly fresh dimension to this debate of the brain versus emotions. These scholars argue that gender orientation plays a vital role in how one thinks or feels. In spite of being given much emphasis in the recent times, the issue of gender influencing how a person thinks or feels is not a new concept. Even in the pre-modern times, men and women were expected to think and feel in a specific way based on the stereotypes of that time (Sungur and Tekkaya, 2005).
Currently, men are debatably depicted in most areas as being strong and dominant while the women being second. Brescoll and Uhlmann (2007) in their work cite Heilman (2001) and Rudman (1998) articulate that women are should be kinder than men, and they induce negative responses from others when they fail to act according to the premeditated ways expected of them. They expound on this concept by writing that men are believed to be strong and should not show weakly emotions like crying just in the same way, women should not show anger.
This has however not augured well with most women-especially the elitists and feminists- who see themselves as being able to “do better what men can do. ” To them, both men and women are equal and none should be given a higher status than the other. When using the gender aspect in depicting intelligence or the capacity to think, the same argument used in emotions is used. Men are disputably depicted as having an upper hand than women. In their defense, they state the numerous organizations that are chaired by them and the many critical positions they hold in the annals of history.
Of course this has faced much criticism from the women who consider themselves brighter. However, Pin-pointing who is above the other is not our main concern, what stands out to be counted is the fact that both men and women have made invaluable contributions in various aspects. In addition, their differences and unique qualities make them blend even better in their various roles and thus being to the overall good for both of them. References Tarleton. (n. d. ). Emotions and learning (Mini-mester). Retrieved May 3rd, 2010, from http://webcache. googleusercontent. com/custom?
q=cache:m7MMnYFicw8J:www. tarleton. edu/~sanderson/Emotions%2520and%2520Learning(mini-mester). Matsumoto, S. (n. d). Do emotions affect critical thinking? Retrieved May 3rd, 2010, from Retrieved May 3rd, 2010, from http://www. humintell. com/2009/08/do-emotions-affect-critical-thinking/ Waxler, J. (2004) Self-talk: How thoughts affect feelings. Retrieved May 3rd, 2010, from http://www. mental-health-survival-guide. com/cognitive-therapy. htm Lmez. A. Y. Sungur, S. Tekkaya, C. (2005). Investigating students’ logical thinking abilities: the effects of gender and grade level.