Predictable chaos: a review of the effects of emotions on attention, memory and decision making
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Healthcare practice and education are highly emotional endeavors. While this is recognized by educators and researchers seeking to develop interventions aimed at improving wellness in health professionals and at providing them with skills to deal with emotional interpersonal situations, the field of health professions education has largely ignored the role that emotions play on cognitive processes. The purpose of this review is to provide an introduction to the broader field of emotions, with the goal of better understanding the integral relationship between emotions and cognitive processes. Individuals, at any given time, are in an emotional state. This emotional state influences how they perceive the world around them, what they recall from it, as well as the decisions they make. Rather than treating emotions as undesirable forces that wreak havoc on the rational being, the field of health professions education could be enriched by a greater understanding of how these emotions can shape cognitive processes in increasingly predictable ways.
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