A note on some very interesting recent psychiatric research that shows that decision-making has much to do with finding an inner equilibrium:
Martin Paulus, M.D., professor in UCSD’s Department of Psychiatry, has compiled a body of growing evidence that human decision-making is inextricably linked to an individuals’ need to maintain a homeostatic balance.
“This is a state of dynamic equilibrium, much like controlling body temperature,” said Paulus. “How humans select a particular course of action may be in response to raising or lowering that ‘set point’ back to their individual comfort zone. In people with psychiatric disorders or addictions, the thermostat may be broken.”
Up to now, according to Paulus, psychiatrists and others have looked at the decision-making process as a considered series of options and values.
“What has never been considered closely, but should be, is the state of the decision-maker,” Paulus said. According to the researcher, this homeostatic state — the tendency to maintain internal stability, due to the mind and body’s coordinated responses to any stimulus that disturbs the normal condition — is altered in individuals with addictions and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia or anxiety. “This disturbance of homeostatic balance leads to dysfunctions in decision-making — which helps explain why such patients make seemingly bad choices,” he said
This focus on the inner state and the need to find equilibrium has some correalations to the charodic path, the mental model we teach with the Art of Hosting that talks about the dance between chaos and order and how leadership has much to do with finding courage on that path.
[tags]decision making, chaordic path[/tags]