A popular idea for explaining our irrational thinking has been that it’s the process of making sense of the world that makes us feel good.
For instance, it’s been argued that rationalization is a process that we engage in when we make decisions about the future.
A number of studies have shown that it has an impact on how we feel about the world and can have a positive impact on our wellbeing.
But what’s more, some studies have found that it may also lead to the irrational belief that we have control over the future, which can cause us to make decisions that we don’t fully understand.
What’s the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of rationalization?
The evidence is mixed, but there are some compelling reasons to think that it might have some real impact on health.
For instance, there is some evidence that the effects of rationalisation on wellbeing are mediated by changes in the prefrontal cortex.
In particular, there’s evidence that, in a study involving a group of healthy adults, when participants were asked to make rational choices about the health of their loved ones, they tended to make less risky decisions.
This suggests that rationalisation may not only be important for our health but also for the wellbeing of our loved ones.
How can rationalization help us live a happier, healthier life?
It’s important to remember that the impact of rationalizations on our behaviour is not dependent on whether we make a decision in the future or not.
For example, when people make rational decisions, they often don’t feel that they are making the right choice, and they are more likely to feel depressed or anxious.
So the most important thing is to remember how we make our decisions.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with anxiety, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
You can also talk to a mental health professional about your problems, or if you’re worried about your wellbeing, talk to your GP.
If you or someone you know needs help, talk with a counsellor.
They can discuss ways to support you.
Finally, it is important to note that we can’t make decisions based on rationalization.
When we’re in a good mood, rationalization doesn’t seem to be a factor in our decisions, and we can make more informed decisions based off the evidence.
For more information on rationalizations and how to improve them, read our article on the science behind rationalizations.
Have a question about rationalization psychology?
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