Many people believe that they can control the emotional elements involved when making decisions. They cannot. In fact those who are most sure of this 'fact' usually excel at post-decision rationalisation rather than having the ability to totally eliminate emotional impact. Examples abound and one that struck me recently was of the senior exec who declared he would never - for a host of very rational reasons - drive a Mercedes (he drives a BMW).
This video of highlights from a BBC documentary made back in 2008 is still a good ice-breaker if you want to discuss this subject in your management team. Just 8 minutes long, it highlights different aspects of the decision-making process and features Dr de Martino's work which establishes how decision-making is largely balanced between the frontal lobes and the amygdala, a part of the older, reptilian brain.
He has now moved on to work on establishing the degree of confidence that people have in their decisions, having studied under Daniel Kahneman as part of a Wellcome post-doctorate fellowship.
James Capon is a founding partner of Lazy Horses. He feels he is rational when he needs to be. But he's probably wrong about that.