Fear and anxiety can alter decision making in a wide range of domains, not least of all decisions about one's own health or the health of patients under a physician's care. Past research has demonstrated this influence, including in medicine. Understanding the impact that these basic emotions have on medical decisions, particularly those involving risky and uncertain options, is essential to understanding medical decision making and building accurate predictive models of choice. Traditional economic models of decision making, such as expected utility theory, propose that patients and physicians weigh decision options rationally and choose an action based on the likelihood and the payoff of outcomes. These models rarely include psychological influences on behavior, particularly the emotional ones. In the medical context, an important omission from ...

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