Shakespeare Reveals the Primacy of Emotions in Human Nature

Modern cognitive psychology has found that the vast majority of human thinking relies primarily on intuition and gut instinct rather than strategic reasoning. We are routinely hubristic, overconfident in our own perceptions, and prone to confirmation bias. Rather than challenge existing beliefs and assumptions, we instead become entrenched in them, automatically filtering new information to fit in with what we already believe. In fact, the majority of our reasoning occurs as a post-hoc rationalization that is a justification of our position after the fact, having already made up our minds in a snap decision. Few writers in history have understood this aspect of human thinking better than William Shakespeare, who shows again and again in his plays how emotions and intuitions trump reasoning.

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