Thursday, May 21, 2009

emotions are important

emotions have an effect on decision making. what is more interesting, is that we have a somewhat hard time figuring out how emotions that we are not currently feeling will affect our decisions when we are feeling those emotions.

for example, we might say we will use a condom when having sex, but in the heat of the moment, we don't. it's tough to know what we will or wont do when feeling emotions we are not feeling now. George Loewenstein has a paper about how sexual arousal influences the likelihood to commit date rape.

when students were in a 'cold' none emotional state, they were a lot more rational and unwilling to commit date rape. when in a 'hot' and aroused state they were less likely to be rational and unwilling to commit date rape.

this can be applied to other emotions, not just sexual arousal; fear, anger, excitement, etc.

what does this have to do with anarchists? two things come to my mind right away. certain anarchists property destruction. some do it alone in the middle of the night, others do it in public, during a protest. it seems to me like the nighttime property destruction is less popular than day time public rioting.
this might be because during a riot, people who would normally not be willing to break a window, are full of energy and emotions which affect their decisions. people might be more likely to commit property destruction when emotional than when planning a 'cold' unemotional night time action.
people might also plan to act a certain way during a protest or riot, but when in the middle of an emotionally packed riot, they may do things they did not expect themselves to do.

secondly, and maybe more importantly, anarchists, and everyone really, should know not to talk to the police. just dont say anything. most anarchists have heard this and may have said this themselves. it's easy to think that you wont talk to the cops when you are sitting around not feeling fear or any other emotion. however, if you have just been arrested, or are in jail being interrogated, you are in a very emotional state and your thought process and decisions will be affected.

folks who plan to participate in emotional situations may try practicing roll playing possible situations while feeling those emotions.

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