It may not come as a shock to you but humans are emotional creatures, and not surprisingly our emotions tend to influence the decisions we make.
Most of us, at one point in our lives have used a form of decision-making shortcut called “affect heuristic” when we’re faced with a difficult decision, and for most of us – we’ve learned that making a decision in the heat of the moment can be a terrible idea.
If you’ve ever gone “with your gut”, taken a dump on your boss’s desk in anger or experienced road rage, you’ve used this shortcut. It isn’t so much a cognitive bias, as much a glitch in thinking and it can lead to good outcomes and some very bad outcomes.
Researchers have found that if people have positive feelings towards an activity, then they’re more likely to judge the risks as low and the benefits high. On the flip side, if their feelings towards an activity are negative, they’re more likely to perceive the risks as high and benefits low. And this class, is partly how anti-vaxxers operate.