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Mischief Managed … Logically

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Science, Spells, & Sentiments

We all know people who are extremely analytical and acutely attentive to details. They are usually great at forming plans and working through tasks but can be stumped by those who maneuver through life without adherence to logic or structure. Like Hermione Granger of Harry Potter or Mister Spock of Star Trek, such individuals are sometimes challenged by social dynamics or emotional expression.

Precise personalities, as described in the video above, tend to be more rational than emotional. They are known for their persistence with facts over feelings. This may subsequently lead to awkward interactions with others, as delineated in this Star Trek scene below. While many personality dimensions may gravitate more towards emotional or social expression, Precise individuals can often be found happily buried in work or research.

While the studious traits of these characters are often portrayed for comic relief, the reality may be that analytical people occasionally do struggle with communicating or relating with others. Yet, a willingness to explore information not easily read on a page or screen—such as the information told by emotions—helps us all better engage with and even predict the people and situations around us.

As discussed in this podcast with psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett, emotions offer a wealth of information. They help us connect with our gut instincts and alert us when we feel particularly uneasy or excited about a situation. By learning to balance logic with emotions—both our own and those of others—we can better navigate our interactions and relationships.

While those like Spock obviously make for competent teammates, a hesitance to explore emotional and social depths may keep them from being quite as readily engaging as Kirk. We tend to win with others through their hearts before their minds after all, as expressed by sociologist Robb Willer in this episode of Hidden Brain.

To effectively work with or even lead others, we need to know how to connect with them. Sometimes citing research and analysis just isn’t enough. Sometimes we must look deeper and outward all at once, using logic as our shields against error and emotions as our transporters into fellowship.

Thus can we achieve the connection necessary for our very own patronus.

“Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end of it.”
– Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock

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