consequences to overpower them. As with hope, there is a “what if” factor that prevents
some people from relying on their own reason. I have seen some emails that included
threats to, not only the person’s wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of their friends and
family. I realised that many people do want to risk attaching the fate of others to their ownpoor choices, and see forwarding these emails as the best choice. They may be fully capableof reasoning, but out of fear, they choose to ignore any logical conclusions just in case theyare wrong. To them, they see two possibilities:1.
Forward the email, and if it is false, no one will get seriously hurt2.
Ignore the email, and risk harm to myself or others if it turns out to be true.Driven by fear, these people choose to continue the bothersome trend of sending theseemails around, and totally ignore their own logic.
Some emails are written to appeal to our emotions of sympathy. They use imagesprovocative images of animal cruelty or even a picture of a small child coupled with amessage dictating how they are now in dire need of medical help. They either take theform of a petition or claim that for email sent, money will be donated to resolve the issue.Either way, they both claim that by forwarding the email, you can make a difference andencourage this by evoking our emotions of sympathy. Personally, I realise that theseemails are an inefficient method of accomplishi
ng their “goals”. If they were genuine, they
would redirect people to a site where the signatures might actually be counted, ratherthan simply dispersed into thousands of inboxes.
I have also seen emails used anger. They will recount stories such as how a child was killedby a drunk driver, and instruct readers to pass it on to prevent it from happening again.Others may be about political issues, and say that if you feel angered by the situation, youshould pass on the email to show support. I find these emails pointless because forwardingan email will not change the bad things that happen in the world. Once again, this is anexample of how an overpowering emotional reaction can cause people to do somethingthat is not reasonable.
Given that such a range of emotion responses can still affect this decision, we realised thatthis concept must also apply to other situations. Humans experience a range of emotional