Emotion & intellect LO27060

From: Dressler, Winfried (Winfried.Dressler@Voith.com)
Date: 07/26/01

Replying to LO27035 --

Dear Bob,

>Thank you for an interesting discussion on an important topic.

Thank you for keeping the discussion going!

I wish to add some comments based on your

>Emotion is often the result of a comparison of an actual state against a
>desired state.

An attractive thought and starting point. "Unfortunately", I have started
to question this notion a while ago, and I hope that the setting of this
dialogue allows me to share my walk without sounding judgemental.

First two points based on my personal experience with emotion. One is that
I have learned that I have the typically male difficulties of realizing my
emotions. Frankly emotions threaten the nicely organized world of mental
models (including those on emotions ;-), and this hazy, only very fade
contour makes me wish to spend not too much time in this chaotic zone of
mine. The other is, emotions seems to be very independent on other states
then the current: I can be very dissatisfied without any idea of a desired
state and meanwhile I am sure that it is not the "not having an idea of a
desired state" that creates the dissatisfaction. On the other hand I can
be fully satisfied and feel simply great without being able to assign this
feeling to met or exceeded expectations.

Peter Senge articulated this tacit knowing based on experience of mine by
distinguishing creative tension from emotional tension. Creative tension
is the tension between perceived current reality and vision. He says that
creative tension doesn't feel at all, it simply is. This does not mean
that creative tension cannot cause emotional tension (arriving at your
sentence: emotions are often the result of...), but emotional tension is a
matter of current reality. How to deal with them in the context of
creative tension is a matter of personal mastery.

Primarily, emotions are there and they do something, which I tried to
articulate as "serving as entropic forces". As such they contribute to
produce together with corresponding fluxes, entropy. This entropy may or
may not be organized in one or the other form. How this new form, the
change, correspond with something like "desired state" or "vision" is all
but clear. In fact, the ability to utilize, manage and harness this
unavoidable, always running process of entropy production to really arrive
at desired states and not somewhere else is in the language of entropy
production an articulation of the discipline of personal mastery. In fact,
how many people finally arrive at desired states? Senges suggestion is to
stick to creative tension as the controller and not to let you be pulled
around by emotions, i.e. not to take too much care about emotions but to
use them as tools on the path set by creative tension.

Bob, you refer to consumer research
>In consumer behavior, researchers talk about three components: cognition
>(intellect), affect (emotion), and conation (behavior).
>and suggest
>In consumer behavior, Y1 might be the expected value that a consumer
>receives for her or his expenditure.

And Y2 be the actual value received. This is Y2after (for after the
buying). Y2before would be the state before the buying. Y2before together
with the promises of Y1 set up the desire which should lead to the buying.
The target is here to sell, thus to generate the conation to buy. The
research (or self experience) shows that such behaviour (to buy) does not
take place without affective support. A subtarget thus is to generate
supportive emotions within the buyer. (Poor buyer, you are in heavy danger
of being pulled around by emotions. To repeat At's warnings: Beware
sellers of treasure maps!) Your Y1 and my Y2before play the role of a kind
of external "creative" tension. It is not really creative tension, because
for me the term creative tension is something very personal within me: MY
perception of current reality, MY vsion. Perhaps I should call this
tension "generative tension". The target is to generate emotions and
conation. Such generative tension can be destructively manipulative in so
far as it is willing to override any signs of creative tension within the
buyer. As such, it appears as distraction from the path of what the buyer
truely wants to create.

This brings me back to the beginning: The hazyness of emotions, the danger
of being pulled around by them inside myself and the mercyless,
omnipresent generative tensions outside myself make me understand why
emotions are often supressed. On the other hand emotions are really an
"underexplored component of organizational learning", because without
facing the challenge, which emotions present, both, personally and for the
team, a LO will never emerge.

Finally on the question of what the corresponding entropic flux to
emotions may be, I think we have a "Polanyi-problem" here. More
experiences, buildup of tacit knowing and awareness may lead to a better
articulation than we have today. Neither "intellect" nor "thought" really
hits the point yet. As for "imagination" I think that within the context
of what I have written above, it is the becoming/being of creative
tension. As such it is already the manifestation of a higher order
force/flux-pair which emerged from the more basic emotion/?-pair.

What a meandering... :-)

Liebe Gruesse,


"Dressler, Winfried" <Winfried.Dressler@Voith.com>

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