2 Brain Sides – Self Assessment; Combining Reasoning and Emotion


A common misconception holds that clear thinking cannot take place in the presence of emotion.

But research now indicates that both cognitive reasoning and emotional involvement are essential for purposeful, effective, and satisfying engagement in life and work.

As neurologist Antonio Damasio concluded: “Certain aspects of emotion and feeling are indispensable for rationality. Feelings point us in the right direction, take us to the appropriate place in decision-making, where we may put the instruments of logic to good use. The emotional brain is as involved in reasoning as is the cognitive brain.” He goes on to say: “Reduction in emotion is at least prejudicial to rationality as excessive emotion.”

In other words, when we are flooded or overwhelmed with feelings, rational thinking suffers. But by the same token, when we are not stirred or moved by emotion, we have little impetus to engage our rational minds in pursuing goals.

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, adds: “We have two kinds of intelligence: rational and emotional. The new paradigm urges us to find a balance of the two…… to harmonize head and heart!’

In everyday language, when we ask yourselves” What do I think about launching this project?” or “What do I think about Pat getting the promotion I expected?” we want integrated answers, from both – our logical   and emotional sides.

Indeed, cognitive reasoning and emotionally involvement are complementary skills in clear and creative thinking. It, is on this premise that the Thinking Preference Profile is built. In the following self scoring exercise, you will be able to examine your thinking preferences to help you further ‘develop your capacity for clear, creative thinking.

YOUR THINKING PREFERENCE PROFILE Quantifying your capacity to think clearly and creatively, is as difficult as assigning numbers to motivation, morale, or modesty. Nevertheless, this profile questionnaire is designed to stimulate your inquiry into your thinking patterns.

Please respond to the following questions. There is no right or wrong answers. Circle one number for each question using the following key:

4 = almost always 3 = frequently 2 = occasionally 1-  almost never

1. I use logic in reaching conclusions. 4 3 2 1
2. I weigh several factors when thinking about  investing (such as my age, budget, future earning 4 3 2 1
3. I postpone decision making when I feel out of sorts or tired. 4 3 2 1
4. My approach to relationships: “Are the rewards likely to be worth the effort?” 4 3 2 1
5. I consult my feelings when deciding on a course of action 4 3 2 1
6. I take the time  to get emotionally centered before making important decisions 4 3 2 1
7, I supports  my decisions with empirical evidence and reasonably objective facts 4 3 2 1
8.  I avoid arguments likely to generate stressful reactions. 4 3 2 1
9. I approach relationship with an open hearted desire to connect with another person. 4 3 2 1
10. I decide whether to take an expensive vacation after asking myself if it will add joy to my life. 4 3 2 1
11. I am drawn to people who challenge my intellect. 4 3 2 1
12. When my intuition and logic are in conflict, I rely on logic. 4 3 2 1
13. I pay close attention when I “know” something “in my bones” or when I experience chills or other body signals for no apparent physiological reason. 4 3 2 1
14. I reject conclusions of others when they are not supported by facts. 4 3 2 1
15. I decide whether to take an expensive vacation after asking myself if I can afford it. 4 3 2 1
16. I get creative ideas from dreams, hunches, or other unexpected sources. 4 3 2 1

For every term in columns below, insert, a number using the following key:

4 = very strong influenced on how I behave

3 = strong influence on how I behave

2 = moderate influence on how I behave

1 = negligible influence on how I behave

17.—–4———– Concepts. 26. —–2———- Emotions
18.——-4——— Empathy 27.. ——4———– Logic
19.——–3——— Intuition 28. ——–3——— Reasoning
20. ——–3——– Understanding 29. ——–4——— Appreciating
21. ——–4——– facts 30. ——–2——— Instincts
22. —–3———– Compassion 31. ———4——– Objectivity
13. ——–4——– Practical 32. ——–3——— Experimental
24. ——–4——– Passionate 33. ——–4——— Analytical
25. ———2——- Gut Feelings 34. ———-4——- Rationality


Transfer the numbers you circled and inserted from the previous pages in the appropriate spaces below. Then, add the numbers in each column. (Note: Numbers do not follow in sequence.)

1.————–4————–                             3.—————4————–

  1. .—————4————- 5. .————-2—————
  2. .———–1—————– 6. .—————-3————
  3. .—————-4———— 8. .———–1—————–
  4. .——3———————- 9. .———-4——————
  5. .————–3————– 10. ———–4—————–
  6. .————–4————– 13. .————-4————–
  7. .————–4————– 16.—————–2———–
  8. .—————-4———— 26. .——————2———-
  9. .—————–4———– 18.———————-4——
  10. .————-3————— 19.—————–3———–

20.————-3—————                                     29.——–4——————–

  1. .—————4————- 30.————-2—————
  2. .——————4———- 22.———3——————-
  3. .————-4————— 32.—————-3————
  4. .———-4—————— 24.———-4——————
  5. .————-4————— 25.———2——————-

Total  ———-61———-                                       Total ——51———–

= Cognitive Preference                                          = Emotional Preference

Refer to the chart on the next page to guide you in interpreting your scoring.

Cognitive Reasoning
Emotional Involvement HIGH I

Seeks Precedents

and Guidance

from Others,

Acts Dramatically



and Creative,

Personal and



Seeks Routines,





Seeks Factual

Evidence, Logic

and Objectivity


Chart: Cognitive and Emotional Thinking

Scores above 50 reflect an area of highly developed thinking preference.

Scores below 35 suggest an area for further thinking skill development.

Scores between 35 and 50 reflect an area of moderately developed thinking preference.

The intent of your Thinking Preference Profile is to suggest where to focus your energy to further develop your capacity for clear, creative thinking. .


About Amr Badran

An Egyptian Business Consultant and Corporate Trainer since 1997. I've trained on Management, Leadership and Soft Skills to thousands of people from many nationalities, backgrounds and professions in more than 10 countries across the Middle and Far East. Holder of an MBA and a Candidate for Doctorate in Business. Find more about my Management and Personal Skills Courses at AmrBadran.com and feel free contacting me at Amr@AmrBadran.com
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