Logic vs. Emotions: Study Reveals The Benefits Of Following One’s Heart

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A study by PsychTests.com indicates that people who regularly consult their feelings and listen to their intuition tend to have better self-esteem, a more positive mindset, and better control over their emotions.

: There’s nothing wrong with using logical reasoning to solve problems and navigate through life, but it should be balanced out with information from emotions, intuition, and gut instinct.

Being highly logical - while denying messages from feelings, intuition, and gut instinct - can actually be a major disadvantage.

People who are in tune with their emotions are more fully connected with who they are and as a result, seem to be much better-equipped to adapt and thrive.

In the modern world, nearly all experiences or events are examined through a scientific lens. For every effect there must be a cause. Anecdotal evidence, women’s intuition, or gut feelings are meaningless if their data cannot be verified and replicated through the scientific method.

On the one hand, this paradigm has led to many amazing discoveries and invalidated many antiquated and dangerous practices (lobotomies, for example). However, dismissing emotions as irrational and unreliable is short-sighted, according to research by PsychTests. In fact, people who rely too much and logic and who detach themselves from their emotions place themselves at a significant disadvantage.

Analyzing data from 4,514 people who took their Emotional Intelligence Test, researchers at PsychTests compared two distinct groups:

  • Emotional “reflectors” are feelers. They are tuned in to their emotions, allowing themselves to experience both positive and negative feelings. When making decisions, they may conduct research and use a pro/con list, but once they have all the information available, they will opt for what feels right. If their gut instinct signals to them that something is wrong, they will heed the warning.
  • Emotional “deflectors” are thinkers. They suppress and distance themselves from their feelings, especially negative ones. When making decisions, solving a problem, or assessing a situation/person, they rely strictly on logical reasoning (or so they believe). They tend to consider emotions are as irrational, and that relying on gut instinct or intuition is absurd.

When comparing the two groups, here’s what PsychTests’ study revealed: (Note: Scores on the scales listed below can range from 0 to 100).


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 69
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 31

Talking about and dealing with emotions - our own and other people’s - requires a certain degree of comfort with vulnerability, something that Emotional Reflectors can handle with much greater ease than Emotional Deflectors.


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 79
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 45

Given their ability to handle their emotions, Reflectors are much more adept at navigating different types of situations and are skilled at interacting with various types of people.


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 80
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 61

In spite of the emotional upheaval that almost always comes with arguments, being in touch with their feelings allows Emotional Reflectors to resolve conflict more productively.


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 79
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 49

Dissociating ourselves from our emotions is like distancing ourselves from our humanity, from who we are. Some Emotional Deflectors may even feel ashamed of their feelings and interpret a loss of self-control as a sign of weakness. People who find it difficult to accept their feelings may also find it hard to accept themselves by extension, which impacts their self-esteem. Emotional Deflectors are uncomfortable showing vulnerability, whether it is love and appreciation or sadness and anger. In a way, they perceive emotions as a threat to their ego, an assault on their carefully guarded self. They pride themselves on being logical, but fail to realize that even the most logical person still makes most decisions with their emotions. Their tendency to bottle up feelings and difficulty processing and releasing emotions takes a toll on their self-esteem, makes them defensive, and makes them feel inadequate in emotional situations.


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 75
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 45

Logical reasoning compels Emotional Deflectors to plan ahead and prepare for the worst. This focus on the negative steers their thinking and their behavior in that direction, thus making a negative outcome more likely. While they are not extreme optimists, Emotional Reflectors on the other hand prefer to keep their mind focused on possibility and success. They may also prepare a Plan B but focus on a positive outcome, thus priming their neuropathways for responses that lead to success.


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 71
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 44

Even though being “feelers” sometimes means that Reflectors will be immersed in waves of negative emotions, they are still far happier and more satisfied with their life than Deflectors who, in contrast, prefer not to think about their problems or entertain negative emotions. Being able to process and release emotions is an important part of good mental hygiene, allowing Reflectors to move past setbacks, failures, and disappointments, thus leading to life satisfaction.


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 72
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 45

Being in touch with their emotions - what makes them happy, what inspires them, what irks them - allows Emotional Reflectors greater insight into what they need to stay motivated. They use their emotional competencies to recover quickly from failures and mistakes and to summon the energy to persevere. Emotional Deflectors, on the other hand, may rely on extrinsic motivators to keep them going (e.g. money), which might not work in the long-term.


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 86
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 65

Emotional Reflectors are constantly striving for self-improvement. Their self-awareness, both in terms of their strengths and limitations, stimulates the desire to learn, to grow, and to push their personal limits. They use their emotions to understand what they want, why, and how to navigate their life to get there. Emotional Deflectors seem to be a little more complacent and less ambitious - perhaps because suppressing their emotions makes it more difficult to achieve goals, have success in school, and hinders career advancement. After all, emotional intelligence plays a significant role in school and career success, and lack of emotional competencies perpetuates a vicious circle.


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 80
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 54

Hardiness is not something people are born with - it can only be developed through challenges and hardship. As the old saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” By allowing themselves to feel their way through intense emotional experiences, Emotional Reflectors are able to more fully develop their resilience than Emotional Deflectors.


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 81
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 66

Relying solely on information obtained through logic, analysis, and reasoning can provide Emotional Deflectors with useful data to assess situations and make decisions, but it also can limit them - and result in a somewhat rigid way of thinking. Intuition and gut instinct provide valuable insight that is simply not accessible through logic and reasoning.


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 89
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 75

While it may seem that Emotional Reflectors are more likely to get caught up in their emotions or become easily overwhelmed, they are actually better than Deflectors at picking their battles. Essentially, they know when to fight for their cause and when to let things go.


  • Score for Emotional Reflectors: 30
  • Score for Emotional Deflectors: 49

In spite of their seemingly stoic demeanor, Emotional Deflectors have a higher need for approval than Emotional Reflectors. They may want others to validate and sympathize with their feelings because they themselves have difficulty accepting their emotional side. Emotional Reflectors are better at self-love, more aware of their own emotional needs and more apt at satisfying them.

“Being emotional, sensitive or just plain passionate isn’t always looked upon favorably,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “We have become habituated to viewing emotions as a sign of vulnerability and weakness, and to admire people who are poised under pressure, who don’t give way to their emotions. While self-control is admirable, it should not come at the cost of suppressing our emotions completely.

Denying that we have feelings is denying our humanity. Moreover, what our study has shown is that people who are highly logical and who dismiss the information their feelings are trying to offer place themselves at a significant disadvantage.”

“In order to navigate this world, you need to possess good judgment, sound reasoning, logic, and the ability to critically analyze information. However, you also need to be able to trust the innate survival mechanism that has kept humans alive for thousands of years - your gut instinct, your intuition, your emotional sensors - all of which offer information that is beyond the reach of logic.

People who are in tune with their emotions are more fully connected with who they are and as a result, seem to be better-equipped to adapt and thrive. What we recommend is a balance of both worlds. Logic and emotions are not enemies, they are two sides of the same coin, both offering valuable insights to help us live a happy, well-rounded life.”

Want to assess your emotional intelligence? Check out https://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3979

Professional users can request a free trial for MEIQ - HR (see a sample report here) or any other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr

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Ilona Jerabek
PsychTests AIM Inc.
+1 514-745-3189 Ext: 112
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