Aug 19, 2010

Overcome By Emotion

Instinct or analysis? Wouldn't things be easier if we could get emotion out of the way and let rational analysis lead? Except that so often, that gut feeling turns out to be right. We explore both extremes. Antoine Bechara, a psychology professor at USC, tells us about the case of Elliot, an accountant who, after having a tumor removed from his brain, became entirely rational. And writer Steven Johnson recounts the powerful grip emotion held over his brain in the years following a frightening event.

It turns out we aren't the only ones interested in how the emotional and rational parts of our brains interact to make choices. NPR reporter Mike Pesca talks to Gary Loveman, CEO of Harrah's Casinos, to find out how Harrah's has learned to identify the triggers in casino patrons' decision making processes and use them to create a happier gaming experience, and more loyal customers.

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