Higher-level of reasoning vs. lower level of reasoning, how do we make decisions? Every day we make thousands of decisions both major and minor. Sometimes we make decisions without even realizing it. When facing a choice our brain determines the overall reward and risk, then our feelings get a vote (depending on how much power we give it, it may have a bigger sway) and for better or worse, we make a decision.
Think last time you were at the grocery store with a firm determination to buy only healthy food. At home, you were firm. Once in the grocery store, surrounded by the temptations and distractions of the most delicious junk foods, you made a new decision and you sealed it with the action – you bought a shopping cart full of unhealthy stuff. So what happened?
Our brain assigns everything a value based on that value we make decisions. Depressed people have difficulty assigning value, everything seems unappealing, the resulting decision – better stay in bed. Hoarding is caused by overvaluation of certain possessions. We have to make sure we assign right value to things. Things that are good for us should always have a higher value.
Why do we engage in reckless/dangerous behaviors? At some point of our lives, we all engage in behaviors that are risky or unwise. We do it because these behaviors bring pleasure, excitement and are temporarily rewarding. Maybe we want to spoil ourselves just this once. The problem is these behaviors can very quickly become addictive to the point that one day we lose any conscious control over the behavior.
Human beings are different from any other animal in that we are able to think and control our behavior.