Logic Driven by Emotion

Posted Sunday, May 5, 2024 by Sri. Tagged TROPE

My way of understanding my motivational triggers is described as "logic driven by emotion", a process that for me looks like this:

  1. During normal daytime activity, I become aware of a fleeting emotional reaction that strikes me as unusually visceral or noteworthy based on its strength. I don't yet know what is happening, and why it's causing an effect.
  2. My associative memory immediate looks for a matching feeling and the contextual memory that goes with it. For example, perhaps there is the faint wisp of "summer day on the beach" that I am getting, or perhaps a vision of "dark wood, books, and mahogony" come to mind. Or I remember feeling a similar kind of happiness/fear very specifically because it's formative. At times it may instead be from a meaningful character moment from a work of fiction.
  3. I then try to create connections between the memory and the recent emotional event. Was this something I've seen before that I have a name for? Is this something new? Is there another related memory/experience that suggests a new principle that governs Sri's universe?
  4. I come up with a working definition and an accompanying hypothesis to be mindful of in the future, should the even happen again. I try to give it a new name, and write it down somewhere. This becomes a new conceptual anchor that I can use as a reference, which is helpful for understanding myself and to describe to others.

The first point is the emotional trigger, and subsequent steps are logical processing that helps me understand and come to terms with my experience.


I am pretty sure that "logic driven by emotion" was a term also used by a blogger in the "Creative Generalist" space in the 2000s, perhaps the Creative Generalist blog itself, or by consultant David Armano; I have a dim impression that this was the byline of his blog at the time but have not been able to confirm this in the Wayback Archive or on his current site. In any case, I stopped using the term in my writing around then because it was someone else's term of art; enough time has passed that I think maybe I can safely use it without muddying someone else's digital garden or brand.

Anyway, until 2024, I had used "logic driven by emotion" as way to describe how my brain worked. I suspect now that my brain actually works much more purely on emotion itself, and logic plays the supporting role to help me cope with the difficulty of not having my peculiar emotional needs met in mainstream society. See Groundhog Day Resolutions Report for May 2024 for more background.