Emotion-Reason Scaling

I’ve been engaging in an online dialogue on the topic of a scale or continuum of emotion and reason with Landzek through comments on his blog. Since, I am unable of posting images in his comments (AFAIK), I am posting them with commentary here.

He’s got 4 parts of this topic (so far), but, for reference sake, it starts here. Without retreading context you can get on his site, the essence is the notion of a scale, a spectrum between emotion and reason. In part 4, he conveys something I interpret as a time series graphically as image A.

Emotion and reason are a dimension represented on the Y axis, and time is on the X axis.

Prior to this, time was not a factor, so I had been constructing this as a simple continuum as shown in image B.

Here, there is only a X axis, running from emotional to rational, representing reason. Ignoring for the time of the index of the scale and not being concerned if the relationship is even-tempered linear or something else.

Secondarily, is there a quality perspective to the placement? My initial questions are embedded on the graph.

As I don’t feel that the Emotional-Rational scale are opposites, I’ve been thinking through how this scale might work. My first take was along these lines, creating a Cartesian plane.

In this, Irrational and Rational create an X-axis scale and Reserved and Emotional create the Y axis. I’m not sure what the nomenclature opposite of Emotional is, but stoical or reserved are placeholders for now.

Upon further thought, I am not sure irrational is the extreme opposite to rational. I am also not sure what the interplay of rational versus irrational versus non-rational should be, but I created a fourth chart as a basis for discussion.

I am not making a claim that any of these are correct. I am just trying to think this through visually. As I’ve got a day job, I need to get back to, I at least wanted to provide this foundation for conversation.

5 thoughts on “Emotion-Reason Scaling

  1. I love it! I love the figures also. I wish I knew how to operate computer is better to be able to draw things figures and such because I would just have a ton of them. Lol

    But yeah I like those.

    And I agree with your conditional past years of telling us that we meet or you might not be sure of those polemics, but I think they work well enough.

    Because I even describe that having the top end of emotional intensity would qualify as having to be committed by the sheer fact that you are no longer functioning well enough to keep from being committed, and then likewise there’s zero scale on reason would mean that you are so unreasonable that the same condition applies, I E, that you would have to be committed because you were totally unable to behave in such a matter as to prevent yourself from being committed.

    I have some other thoughts on your presentation there, but I think I will try to incorporate them in part five. I think I’m a part five. Lol

    And please know that I just enjoy discussion, I enjoy having my ideas attacked, and I enjoy attacking other peoples ideas. And I don’t mean this in the sense of viciousness or hatred or anything personal, I mean this in the sense of to me that’s what a discussion is, that’s what an argument is, and that’s how we both learn and grow is by not holding back and also not taking it personally.

    So hopefully you can agree with my approach on discussion. Yea? Because while I do get a good amount of learning from those who agree with me and then add constructive criticism here and there, I think I learn and grow the most when people tell me I’m just filled with shit and here is why I think so 😄. So if you ever think I’m filled with shit just tell me and I will love you for it at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. Honest critique and idea exchange is beneficial. Frankly, I hadn’t invested a lot of energy into the topic. It’s mostly a reaction to having read your posts. As such, I haven’t established a strong opinion either way. So, for me, it’s just a mental exercise to get to a place that feels ‘right’.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really love this visual a lot!! I agree with your deduction that perhaps stoical isn’t the best opposite to Emotional. Perhaps something along the line of Apathetic? I want to utilize a version of this system within my book, with character falling into a particular quadrant depending on their world views; however, I would include a behavioral dimension to this as well. If you look at something like a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy chart, it details expands on the relationship between Thought (Rational to Irrational), Emotion (Emotional to Apathetic), and Behavior (?-?). I could see a situation in which one could merge that into either existing dimension, but I think having its own scale would be better, What are your thoughts on what a possible scale for this could be and where it would fall on your graph?


  3. Thanks for the comments, Estallous.

    Interesting, the behavioural dimension. My first reaction would be to create a Z-axis—perhaps passive, active. I wonder if @Landzek has a perspective on this. Unfortunately, I don’t believe WordPress supports a way to tag someone.

    I find that these opposites come down to semantics and framing. Taking ’emotional’ as an example, I feel one could take one of two paths. I think your suggestion of apathy is spot on. With stoical, I was aiming for one might deem a-emotional, what I might call, borrowed from the French insouciance, which is a strong synonym to apathy without some of the connotative baggage that (at least) I have when I encounter the word. For some reason, I take apathy as not being a neutral lack of interest. I feel that it’s a motivated lack of interest, say, in politics—disappointment (an emotional response) might induce a state of apathy, whilst insouciance is not caring in the first place—for me, evoking thoughts of the Fool in Tarot parlance—carefree. So, the first path extends from zero-emotion (apathy) to positive-emotion (emotional). An alternative path could run between negative-emotion and positive-emotion. I don’t mean positive as in elation versus a negative of depression. Rather, I mean emotive or expressive emotions versus draining or negating emotions. As this feels unnatural to me, I likely opted for a comfort zone and chose a less fitting word than apathy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Passive – Active is along the lines of what I had come up with myself, that being Action – Inaction. And I totally understand what you were saying in trying to find a neutral word that can stand alone. Running between negative and positive is an interesting way of looking at at as opposed to the concept itself, and the theoretical lack thereof. I guess it can be said that Rational and Irrational can already be seen in this way due to the “negative” connotation of irrationality. Positive and negative behavioral attributes is a little harder for me to conceptually add to this, since situational aspects play such a large part in the determination of said attributes; whether or not being active or passive is positive or negative. Also thank you for responding so quickly to such an old post. I appreciate the discussion and it has given me a bit to think about in terms of my novel.

      Liked by 1 person

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