What is the rational justification for kindness

Rational: Do you act logically justified?

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Definition: what is rational anyway?

Being rational becomes a rational, purposeful thinking and acting designated. The so-called ratio denotes how the rational mind works: Not intuitively (from the gut), but - synonymous with rational - calculating, weighing, analytical, logical, well-founded.

The terms rational and rationality The underlying aim is to make one's own decisions and actions understandable for outsiders.

Rational action is considered to be when it is predominantly considered to be appropriate and well founded is felt. Rationally decides who has good reasons for his (conscious) decision and can name them - especially in order to achieve a certain goal.

But because often the ends and the means employed valued differently it is not always clear what is reasonable. Many modern philosophers, including Max Weber and Karl-Otto Apel, therefore do not see the one Rationality, but rather speak of different rationalities the one reason.

For example, one speaks of objective rationality as soon as something can be measured according to the laws of natural sciences and mathematics. In no way should the mistake be made rationally with true equate. The rating category rational is always depending on currently available knowledge:

Lack of time and knowledge gaps lead time and again to decisions that on closer inspection not as a logical consequence, that is, a rational approach.

What is the opposite of rational?

In philosophy, the higher valuation of the rational can be observed since the Enlightenment. It was the French philosopher René Descartes who coined the phrase “I think, therefore I am” in the 17th century, and with it that Think about feeling raised. According to this reading, whoever thinks is rational.

Have been since ancient times ratio and emotio, that is, the rationality and the feeling, an old pair of opposites. Even today, instead of true emotion, it is mostly intuition misinterpreted as feeling becomes.

Intuition can very well be rational - rational in the sense that there is a good reason for a decision. In contrast to other decisions, however, we cannot provide an ad hoc reason for something. Because intuitive action draws on empirical knowledge back, which came about holistically.

Likewise, emotional is not the opposite of rational, because emotional and rational are not mutually exclusive. Logically justified decisions can be presented with great enthusiasm. And the opposite of emotional is unemotional.

In reality it is irrational is the opposite of rational. And irrational thoughts and actions, like rational ones, can take place with or without emotional involvement.

Test: Are you a rational person?

Employers often want qualities like quick thinking or one quick grasp. The Israeli-American psychologist Daniel Kahneman has proven through his outstanding research (Nobel Prize in Economics 2002) that people think in two different ways:

One possibility is quick thinking, which is prone to error. Slow thinking, on the other hand, is often more thorough. According to Kahneman, that is fast thinking tends to be irrational, the slow one is more a sign of rational behavior. You can easily determine what makes you tick with this small self-test:

  1. A woman is the biological mother of two sons who were born at the same hour on the same day in the same year. Even so, the children are not twins. How is that possible?
  2. Michael looks at Leonie, Leonie looks at Lars. Michael is married, Lars is single. Does a married person look at an unmarried person?
  3. Five machines make five products in five hours. How long do ten machines need for ten products?

You can find the solutions here:

Rationality is seen as a strength when it comes to making important decisions. But who weighs up, puts forward reasonable arguments and thinks and acts logically, can regularly achieve the best results in such a case.

Not everyone makes particularly rational decisions; some prefer to listen to their emotions instead. Are you still unsure about the test results? We have put together seven signs that will show you that you are particularly rational and that you care about yourself Leaving reasoned thinking can:

They are always looking for the reasons

Simply accept information, specifications, processes or developments? That is out of the question for you. Instead, you always look for the reasons behind it and try to understand them. Another sign that you are particularly rational: You are finding it difficult to do a task that you do not see the point of. Again, try to understand the value of your work to the whole project and why you were chosen for this assignment.

Take your time when making decisions

The first gut feeling can be correct and provide an important impulse, but it is not rational. If you prefer to give yourself more time to make decisions, sleep on them for one more night and first want to gather more information before making a final decision, there is a lot to suggest that you think rationally and that your decisions are also shaped by this rationality.

You know exactly where to find important information

It is not uncommon for rationality to be misunderstood. It's not about always knowing everything and having the right answer to every question. Rather, it is a sign of rationality if you can find important information quickly when you need it. This shows that you can find the answers to difficult questions and always achieve promising results.

You always have a precise plan

When you do something, you want to do it right. So you always have a concrete plan of your project in mind that you can use as a guide. In this way, you already know in advance which possible difficulties may arise, but you already have the right solution ready. This shows up at work as well as in your private life. For example, you plan a project in detail. You would never go on a trip spontaneously, but always know exactly which sights you want to visit, when and for how long.

They attach great importance to the advantages and disadvantages

It is the classic of rationality: you always weigh the advantages and disadvantages of various options in order to ultimately come to a choice that, in your opinion, has the greatest chance of success. They always know exactly what opportunities there are on the one hand and know the risk that is associated with them. On the other hand, whether you tend towards security or risk depends on your personality.

You learn new skills quickly

New skills always take time and practice, but when you set out to learn something new, you will usually progress faster than others. The reason: You approach the matter with a well thought-out concept, have set clear goals and know exactly what needs to be done in order to be successful.

You control your emotions

Emotions cannot be exhibited - regardless of how rational a person is. What matters is how you deal with it. Some let themselves be blinded and guided by their emotions. If, on the other hand, you are particularly rational, you are able to disregard your emotions when it comes to making a decision or judging the situation rationally and objectively.

Do we always act logically?

From a business perspective, it is necessary that goals and decision-making processes are best rational. This is difficult to do with goals, as they often reflect personal assessments. A Decision making process is considered rational counted if ...

  • it is consistently aimed at the goal,
  • a cost-benefit analysis is taken into account and
  • it is structured and transparent for third parties to understand.

The mean thing is: Although rational decisions are so highly valued and we go out of our way to make factually justifiable, logical, rational decisions, we are not only manipulablebut also victims of our own prejudices.

And they don't necessarily have to harm the other. Belief in authority is such a case. Some people ascribe more clue to authorities per se - they must have gotten to that position somehow. Perhaps rational from the point of view of the person who believes in authority, but in reality a bias.

Thinking errors creep in even with the best. For example we decide more benevolent in warmth. A somewhat older but fascinating American study came to the result that physical warmth apparently affects inner warmth, i.e. the mind.

In an initial study, the participants stopped short-term Cup of hot coffee or iced coffee. Those who held a hot cup then rated a target person as “warmer”, friendly and caring. In a second study, the participants held a therapy pillow in their hand. Those with a warm therapy pillow were significantly more likely to choose a gift for a friend instead of themselves.

Various studies show that people are influenced by certain circumstances in their decisions pliable are. Nevertheless, decisions often seem rational to us - how come?

We cheat. Because nobody wants to admit that they make their decision on the basis of sympathy (especially delicate in the application process), personal preferences and highly subjective and difficult to check criteria has met. Anything but rational. Instead, justifications are found in retrospect:

  • The candidate had more experience in XY.
  • We urgently need someone like ...
  • The applicant has excellent contacts.

Rational Decision Theory

In the social sciences, economics and business administration the Rational Decision Theory (English: rational choice theory).

Behind this is a theory of action that assumes that people act in such a way that the maximum benefit comes out with the least amount of personal effort. What sounds selfish at first does not necessarily have to be handled for your own benefit. Nor do the motives have to be of a financial nature.

For example, this approach could be implemented in the Framework of a project a non-governmental organization that provides as many villagers as possible in an Indian village with fresh drinking water.

Rational choice is also a household name in criminology. He describes there how society through its legislation Influence on the rational decision of people takes. For example, by “rewarding” behavior that complies with the rules, or by “not paying” criminal behavior for offenders because it results in penalties.

In the area of ​​white-collar crime, rational decision theory provides a plausible explanation for why top managers despite high salaries still criminal become. There is simply a cost-benefit calculation behind this. A decisive reason why, from the point of view of criminology, a deterrent criminal law is required so that criminal offenses are prevented from the outset as far as possible.

However, the Rational Choice Theory reaches its limits here. You can financial motives explain in crime, but impulse-driven actions in affect are left out.

Thinking errors determine the idea of ​​rationality

Behind the higher valuation of rationality are outdated ideas and clichés about which Kind of people are what personality traits they have and how powerful they are. For example this:

  • Women are just more emotional

    Women are assigned greater emotionality (and thus less rationality) because they are “built closer to the water” and therefore less resilient. In contrast, there is the man who basically approaches things soberly and rationally. A mistake in this way of thinking lies in the fact that emotionality is tied to what is externally visible - for example, when an employee (or probably more often: an employee) breaks down in tears.

    Equating emotional with a lack of resilience is just as wrong. An affront when you consider how many women, who still make up the majority of single parents, master the double burden of work (albeit often part-time work) and child-rearing.

  • Invisibility of feelings equals absence

    Conversely, it is assumed that if no emotions are visible, none exist either. Especially in management positions, it is considered an advantage if someone can control their emotions. Imagine business people in a tough negotiation in which one of the participants is sweating on his forehead and the nervousness can be clearly seen - a clear negotiation error. But the control of feelings is not synonymous with absence.

    A negotiator can very well be nervous inside, but he has learned to use his body language appropriately. Because he knows about possible weak points, he has prepared intensively in advance - a completely rational approach.

  • Rational action results in success

    This basic assumption is also incorrect. Again two simple examples: After careful consideration, you have acquired shares in consultation with experts. These were popular, but then an unforeseeable event - like the current Corona crisis - occurs. Contrary to the expected forecasts, the stock is falling.

    Conversely, you may have cracked the Eurojackpot or have been very successful in gambling - but that has nothing to do with rational action. The chances of winning at the Eurojackpot in the highest class are one in 95 million. It would then be much more rational to invest the money over the long term.

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