Head vs. Heart - New Study Looks At The Advantages of Listening to Both Thoughts and Feelings

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A recent study by PsychTests.com reveals that people who use both rational thinking and feelings/gut instinct to navigate through life are at a much greater advantage than those who rely solely on logic or emotions.

Should people follow their head or their heart? The answer is, both.

People who listen to both their head and their heart are in a much better position to manage themselves, their relationships, and life in general.

One of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that logic and emotions are enemies, but the reality is that they are two sides of the same coin.

No one epitomizes the cool use of logic like Sherlock Holmes, who sliced through ignorance and ambiguity with his sharp, precise intellect. “Sentiment,” he once remarked, “is a chemical defect found on the losing side.” Emotions are often viewed as irrational, distracting, unreliable and even destructive, as real-life crimes of passion will attest to. However, a recent study conducted by the researchers at PsychTests.com indicates that listening to both one’s heart and head results in stronger resilience, better conflict resolution, and higher self-esteem.

Analyzing data collected from 12,259 people who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, PsychTests’ researchers examined the differences between people who rely solely on logic to make decisions (“Logic” group), those who prefer to follow their feelings or gut instinct (“Feelings/Gut” group), and those who rely on both logic and feelings (“Logic + Emotions” group). Here are the results of the analysis:

(Note: Scores on the scales listed below can range from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the stronger the trait or skill.).


> Better at identifying and labeling their emotions (score of 72 vs. 52 for Logic group and 50 for Feelings/Gut group).

> Better at adapting their conduct to different social situations (score of 75 vs. 63 for both Logic group and Feelings/Gut group).

> More socially insightful and good at understanding human nature (score of 70 vs. 59 for both Logic group and Feelings/Gut group).

> Better at resolving conflict (score of 75 vs. 57 for Logic group and 58 for Feelings/Gut group).

> More empathetic (score of 77 vs. 68 for Logic group and 67 for Feelings/Gut group).

> More skilled at reading body language (score of 75 vs. 69 for both Logic group and Feelings/Gut group).

> More mentally flexible (score of 73 vs. 60 for both Logic group and Feelings/Gut group).

> More inclined to strive for self-improvement (score of 77 vs. 66 for Logic group and 64 for Feelings/Gut group).

> More self-motivated (score of 65 vs. 55 for Logic group and 53 for Feelings/Gut group).

> More self-aware (score of 67 vs. 56 for Logic group and 54 for Feelings/Gut group).

> Better at coping with stress (score of 70 vs. 59 for both Logic group and Feelings/Gut group).

> Better at dealing with minor, daily annoyances (score of 84 vs. 72 for Logic group and 69 for Feelings/Gut group).

> More resilient (score of 73 vs. 63 for Logic group and 59 for Feelings/Gut group).

> Less likely to ruminate (score of 46 vs. 54 for Logic group and 57 for Feelings/Gut group).

> Less likely to depend on other people’s approval (score of 34 vs. 44 for Logic group and 46 for Feelings/Gut group).

> More likely to enjoy high self-esteem (score of 68 vs. 54 for Logic group and 53 for Feelings/Gut group).

“One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that logic and emotions are enemies, but the reality is that they are two sides of the same coin,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “When an emotion is triggered, whether positive or negative, it is always, always, a message - a signal to pay attention to what is happening in the moment. Logic is the means by which we interpret that message. So the next time you experience a strong emotion, stop and ask yourself the following question: ‘What am I doing right now that is triggering this feeling? Why does this situation bring up such emotions?’ Maybe you’re thinking about a regret from the past. Maybe you’re worrying about a potential event in the future. Or perhaps your emotions are simply telling you, ‘Hey, this doesn’t feel good or feel right. Stop, think, recalibrate.’”

“And to people who believe that they make all their decisions based solely on logic, I hate to break it to you, but that’s actually not true. All your decisions involve emotion in some form. Think about the last time you had to make a major decision, like buying a car. Perhaps you conducted several weeks of research, analyzed different statistics, and weighed the pros and cons of each of your options. You took, what you felt, was a rational, objective approach to buying a car, based on sound judgement and reasoning. Does that mean your choice was strictly logical? Not really. After all that information you gathered and analyses you conducted, you essentially went with the choice that felt right. Your emotions and your logic are allies…they are powerful tools to help you navigate the world. You can’t have one without the other.”

Want to assess your EQ? Check out our Emotional Intelligence Test at https://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3979

Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or 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

About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com).

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Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D
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