Lisa Feldman Barrett and her colleagues at The Affective Science Institute have been talking for a couple of years now about how even our eyesight needs emotion to actually work. She says that without emotional input we can see, but not identify, an object.

Now even more evidence of the validity of this idea comes from of all places GOLF RESEARCH! In this case, it isn’t whether or not a golfer can see the hole but what they think they see and how it may be skewed from the physical facts depending on the context of how they are playing. So if you are playing “badly”, you actually perceive the whole as smaller and visa versa.

This sheds light on the behavioral economics phenomenon of “framing” wherein how a question is posed, will change the answer even though the meaning and choices remain identical. How do I make that leap? Well most behavioral economists types will talk about the behavior but shrug their shoulders at the “why”. Could it be that it is how the question makes you FEEL that sways your answer one way or another?

I think there is a pile of evidence that this is the case. And it is an opportunity for us to clarify our perceptions and improve our performances, in golf, markets and everywhere else, by becoming aware of the feeling that is in operation. Is it really such a stretch to think in terms of “affect” or feeling analytics?

I submit that for those to whom it is not, a competitive advantage awaits. (And oh by the way, what would be logical outcome of truly eliminating emotions – as so many advise?)