Difference Between Rational and Irrational Thinking

Rational vs Irrational Thinking
 

The main difference between rational thinking and irrational thinking is that rational thinking is based on logic and reason, whereas irrational thinking is based on neither. Throughout our lives, we encounter various situations where we have to make choices. Sometimes we consider the situation and the possible outcomes and make our choices but, at other times, we are overwhelmed with emotion that we arrive at quick decisions. This highlights that there is a clear difference between these two processes. Our thinking process can be categorized as rational thinking and irrational thinking. In rational thinking, we use our brain and, in irrational thinking, we listen to our heart. Through this article let us examine the differences between the two types of thinking.

What is Rational thinking?

Rational thinking can be defined as a thinking process which is based on reason and logic. A person who thinks rationally would pay attention to the factual basis. He would analyze the possible outcomes of the situation and his response before acting. Even in the face of a difficult situation, a person who thinks rationally can look beyond the emotions that he feels at that particular moment and act wisely. He would not become a slave of his emotions. When engaging in rational thinking, the individual uses all the information available to him. This can be his past experiences, what he has heard, and whatever information available. This allows him to choose the best option available.

For example, in a work environment an employee was accused by his supervisor for something that he did not do. A rational person would look past the emotions and consider the facts available to him such as Why did he accuse? What led him to think that? Has some mistake occurred in his work, etc. It is only after this that he would decide what to do.

Difference Between Rational and Irrational Thinking

Rational thinking makes you focus on facts

What is Irrational thinking?

Irrational thinking is quite different from rational thinking. It can be defined as a thinking process where the individual completely disregards reason and logic in favor of emotion. Such a person would be overwhelmed by the emotional tension of the situation that they will make the decision based on this. It will not allow the individual to pay attention to facts and logic. Some believe that irrational thinking involves availability bias. This denotes that individuals focus only on recent and similar situations and use that knowledge for handling the situation. He would not analyze the possible outcomes of each decision but would be ruled over by the emotion.

Irrational thinking can distort reality and work as a barrier between the individual and his success. It would make the individual come up with decisions which have no logical basis and are only detrimental.

 Rational vs  Irrational Thinking

Irrational thinking makes you act based on emotions

What is the difference between Rational and Irrational Thinking?

• Definition of Rational and Irrational Thinking:

• Rational thinking can be defined as a thinking process which is based on reason and logic.

• Irrational thinking can be defined as a thinking process where the individual completely disregards reason and logic in favor of emotion.

• Logical Basis:

• Rational thinking has a logical basis.

• Irrational thinking does not have a logical basis.

• Power of Emotions:

• A person with rational thinking can look past the emotions and weigh the possible outcomes before arriving at a decision.

• With irrational thinking, the individual cannot look past the emotion.

• Experience and Emotion:

• Rational thinking is driven by experience and facts.

• Irrational thinking is driven by emotion.

• Success:

• Rational thinking allows the person to succeed.

• Irrational thinking works as a barrier which hinders the success of the individual.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Mark Surman by Joi Ito (CC BY 2.0)
  2. Conversation by Andrew (CC BY 2.0)
  • Isaiah Hemphill

    I disagree with this, a rational thinker can become irrational if he uses experience and the current situation as a base because nobody can control situations and there’s a lot going on in this world. We have to look beyond that approach and place irrational thinking as a criteria based solely on thought processes and remember situations can be irrational because there’s no control of the situation.