Are emotions prophetic? The short answer is No, but Jonah Lehrer at The Frontal Cortex offers a good summary of the long answer [pdf]:
Every feeling is like a summary of data, a quick encapsulation of all the information processing that we don’t have access to. (As Pham puts it, emotions are like a “privileged window” into the subterranean mind.) When it comes to making predictions about complex events, this extra information is often essential. It represents the difference between an informed guess and random chance.
Thin-slicing for dummies? I suppose the unasked question is how our prejudices, worldview and the socio-cultural context bias us in one direction or the other when we emotionally thin-slice… It just might be a good time for me to re-read Gladwell’s Blink too.