The economic incentives facing people making decisions about infectious disease control have been given due theoretical consideration in the literature, based on principles of economic rationality. Such deductive models provide important tools for generating hypotheses. However, the application of such models in a predictive capacity has been criticised. Simultaneously, empirical studies aimed at quantitative exploration of farmer behaviour have relied heavily on social cognitive models, such as the theory of planned behaviour, without exploration of the epidemiological consequences of variability in behaviour within populations. Advances in other social sciences have revealed systematic biases in human reasoning which cast doubt on the validity of the rational economic model as a generalisation of human decision making. We review the characteristics of infectious disease and disease‐control interventions and the potential for bias in implementation decision making at primary producer level. Specific focus is given to the generation of externalities, both positive and negative; the perception of risk, relating to disease incidence, technology adoption and time preference; and finally uncertainty, and its potential to be moderated by trust in information sources. This information is then used to summarise supplemental psychological constructs which taken holistically may strengthen our ability to quantitatively explore human behaviour in this complex decision‐making environment.