What Is Rationality? | Definition and Benefits

What Is Rationality? | Definition and Example - Fallacy in Logic

Have you ever given thought if the decisions you make – both small and significant ones – are based on rationality? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you know when they are?

The meaning of the term rationality, by definition, is the skill of being able to make decisions that are sound and logically correct.

Thus, in order for you to make rational decisions, you need rational thinking – thinking that is based on logic or sound reasoning.  The process of rational thinking includes the analysis of the relevant information, such as facts and news, challenging the “obvious” when necessary, as well as considering a variety of different scenarios and outcomes. 

Benefits of Rationality

The act of rationality has several benefits to the individual that have a high chance of leading to a more successful life. Such benefits include: 

Make Better Decisions

Whether you are a student, teacher, or business owner, improving your ability to think rationally will almost certainly result in better decision-making.

It’ll ensure that you seek and evaluate information as required and consider possible scenarios well enough so that you can arrive at a decision that guarantees a satisfying, if not the best possible, outcome. Put differently, the decisions in one’s life that are made in accordance with rationality are more likely to yield positive results than ones made irrationally.

Consequently, individuals who make decisions – especially the most significant ones – on such a basis will likely enjoy a higher quality of life and experience fewer troubles.

Improve Problem-Solving Skills

The process of making sound and logical decisions, especially when repeated over and over again, will necessarily lead to an improved ability to get around the problems one faces.

It forces you to undertake a number of tasks, such as:

  • Thinking beyond the surface
  • Gathering and analyzing information
  • Being skeptical and challenging existing views
  • Making logical connections

Increased Confidence

What Is Rationality? | Definition and Example - Fallacy in Logic

Learning to be rational can you help you feel confident about yourself; when you know what you are doing, you don’t have to feel insecure about your actions and engage in second-guessing. After all, confidence comes from having knowledge, experience, and faith in your own abilities.

And, even if you happen to make a mistake, or things don’t turn out as expected for any other reason, you know that the most reasonable thing to do is re-evaluate your situation and make changes accordingly. Moreover, remember that even the smartest people make mistakes, and lasting success is more about learning from them than not making them.

Useful in Any Situation

Rationality and sound decision-making are highly useful skills in any situation, both familiar and unfamiliar.

Even if you are in a new situation that requires new information and a different set of skills than the one you currently possess, rational thinking can help you reach the most reasonable choice of action (or inaction!) according to the situation and your current abilities.

Analyze Consequences

This is closely related to the first point.

Rational thinking can allow you to analyze the events that would follow from a particular choice to a reasonable degree.

This, in turn, will help you to steer away from options that would have negative consequences and therefore enable you to pick the most effective choice available.