WOK Badge: Emotion Maria Zapata PĂ©rez

planning journal

Today we were assigned another project. This time, I will be working with Rhea, Mallika, and Seth. We have decided to focus on emotion as a way of knowing. Emotion is the feelings an individual has about things in the world that matter to us. We were intrigued by the following essential question:

What is the relationship between emotion and decision-making?

We thought of a more original way to present our knowledge of emotion to the class. We decided on putting together a script that would represent how emotion impacts our knowledge of a specific situation. In the skit, we have decided to present a teenage girl who is broken up by her boyfriend. Her IB exams are the week after, and her emotions lead her to making the decision that not studying for her exams is the intelligent and best outcome for her.

We decided to relate our way of knowing to reason, and how our emotions can twist our reasoning. Her emotions "undermined her ability to think clearly" and also led her to not reason in an "objective way." Our script and our notes are attached in the document below. We have also made a keynote presentation that only provides a visual image of the setting the protagonist of our script is in.


Our essential question for this WOK badge was:

What is the relationship between emotion and decision-making?

To reflect on this question, I first implemented my thoughts on my own experiences and whether my emotions had ever affected my decision-making. I came to the conclusion that there was a positive relationship between my emotions and my decision-making, and that, depending on my mood, I chose one decision or another. For example, if I am feeling sad or sick, I will most likely decide not to do my homework and "leave it for later", whereas if I am feeling motivated, I will do my homework right then and there. My emotions, for me specifically, play a significant role in my decision-making, sometimes even too big of a role.

As I have read in the chapter, humans have a tendency to be biased towards negative outcomes of a situation. This means that our emotions are biased towards the negative and that in general "bad is stronger than good", meaning that we focus more on the bad things rather than the good things that happen to us. Because of this, people tend to reason with their emotions in order to justify their decisions. From the textbook, I learned that this negativity bias distorts our perception and leads us to have a "pessimistic view of the world."

Emotion also affects the other ways of knowing, like for example reason. Emotion twists our reason and this relates to our question because it impacts our justification for the decisions that we make after the specific emotion that affected them have passed. Our emotions cloud our reason, oftentimes leading us to make a decision that is not the most beneficial for us and we do not take into account the possible long-term consequences.

Reflection journal

Today we completed our WOK presentation for emotion. The presentation went as well as it could possibly have gone... Two of our group members did not contribute and therefore had no idea what the presentation was about until we actually got up there and presented. Despite this, I would like to believe that we got the points we wanted to make across (to some extent). I found that our discussion after the presentation was very insightful and helped me further understand our selected way of knowing. Mr. Morrison got us thinking when he asked if "emotion gives us direct knowledge?".

As a response, I would like to summarize what we said during our presentation. Emotion contributes as a way of gaining knowledge through experience, but it does not give us direct knowledge. This is probably since emotions are so powerful and difficult to understand that they take over our brain, blinding us from coming to rational conclusions. Just like Rhea in the skit, we are not able to control our emotions and "see clearly" until AFTER the emotions have faded. She gained knowledge from her emotions after they were gone and they had created the effect they did on her life and future. Therefore, through this project and this discussion during our presentation, I was able to conclude that emotion is one of the hardest ways of knowing to understand, due to their power and complexity.

I was not pleased with how this WOK project turned out. Only one person in my group collaborated, besides myself. No one was truly dedicated towards understanding the purpose of the project and the way we wanted to present the information. This has become really frustrating because people are disregarding the purpose of these presentations. Since we only have 3 days to complete them, people are not capable of understanding the information from the textbook and actually putting effort into making a decently looking project.

Extension Proposal

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