After a baby was confirmed at NJ's first measles case this year, amid news of measles outbreaks in other states, many are wondering why parents aren't vaccinating their children. has a very interesting look at why some parents are gambling with their children's health—and the well-being of others.

Princeton professor and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman said, "People are much more afraid of their children dying from a vaccine than they are from a child dying of an illness that spreads naturally. If something would happen to their child after being vaccinated, their decision becomes a focus of enormous regret." From

Kahneman explained the way the brain works in his 2011 best-selling book, "Thinking, Fast and Slow," in which he described the thought process in two parts, System 1 and System 2. System 1 is the automatic, reflexive process that fires when an event causes an emotional response. System 2, as he described it, is the thought process involving slow, deliberate, conscious effort.

It's System 2 thinking that is in use when an individual considers the benefits and risks of vaccines, but by then, fear of harm to the child has engaged System 1 thinking, Kahneman said.

"That's why a single example of a particular child being harmed is more effective and sells more newspapers than a story about an outbreak," Kahneman said. "We are really wired to respond strongly to individual cases that touch our heart."

George DiFerdinando, Jr., professor of epidemiology at Rutgers University (and a former NJ deputy health commissioner), also suggested that parents who opt against vaccinating "can get away with this as long as measles isn't imported into Disneyland... [But now] It's no longer a hypothetical community risk."

Of course, if you ask the governor of New Jersey, he'll say it's totally up to the parents whether to take that risk. It's all cool as long as we keep the Ebola nurse in a shitty tent.