Miscalibration: It's why you choose to eat unhealthy even
though you know better
a recent interview with Laurie Langcastor, host of the Weekend
Wakeup Show on Winnipeg radio station CJOB,
I was talking about emotional intelligence (EQ) and how our
insensitivity to our feelings and low self confidence influences
hit the nail on the head when she said, "you sit down
to eat a cookie and you eat the whole bag, and you don't why
you did it".
believe they have an answer; emotional miscalibration.
studies published in the Journal of Consumer Research found
that those with low confidence and low ability (low emotional
intelligence) made poor food choices compared to those with
high confidence and high emotional intelligence.
confidence + low emotional intelligence = emotional miscalibration
confidence + high emotional intelligence = emotionally calibrated
calibration can be described as how closely self confidence
is matched with emotional intelligence. Although there isn't
total agreement on the exact definition of "emotional
intelligence" by the experts, the idea is that emotional
intelligence is ones ability to be self aware, to recognize
meanings of emotional patterns, and how our emotions affect
extra serving of chocolate fudge? Wait a second, I have to
calibrate my emotions..
the step we miss. Stopping to consider how we feel when making
a food choice. If we are emotionally miscalibrated we're significantly
more likely to make a poor food choice, according to the University
of Kentucky researchers.
what to do?
more sensitive to our emotions. That might sound too fluffy
and abstract to many, but really it's totally scientific and
objective. We have emotions, that's a fact. Our emotions strongly
influence our reasoning processes; if we can't comprehend
our own emotions, how do we expect to feel confident about
decisions we make?
you ever felt torn between the feeling of reward and the risk
of harm? If you've waffled (pun intended) on the decision
to eat a pile of chocolate greatness because you know too
many calories = die early, but you want it anyway because
it tastes sooo gooood, then you've pondered reward and harm.
you chose the chocolate greatness chances are your emotional
attachment to the immediate gratification interfered with
good judgment and you rationalized the harm. You didn't have
enough confidence in your ability to make sense of what you
were feeling, and the line between right and wrong was muddled.
Further, you may not even know that emotions are stirring
below the surface and affecting your choice; all you are aware
of is that you made a choice.
you are "emotionally calibrated" you would recognize
your emotions, recognize the harm associated with the unhealthy
choice, and have confidence in understanding that you may
be attracted to the calamity of calories, but can put that
attraction aside due to it's obvious harmful outcome, and
easy hey? The concept is simple: develop the ability to stop,
get a sense of what you are feeling, put things in perspective,
and make the right choice. If you're not emotionally calibrated
it will take time to develop self confidence and accurately
interpret your own emotions.
often, keep it up, and you too can be "emotionally calibrated".
et al. Emotional Calibration Effects on Consumer Choice. Journal
of Consumer Research, December 2008; 080822100129612 ABSTRACT
2008 Cris LaBossiere Rhino Fitness