Several years back, Psychology Today ran an article on what it termed the human “negativity bias.” It seems that our brains have a heightened sensitivity to unpleasant news. We focus on the negative. Very likely that capacity kept our knuckle-dragging ancestors out of harm’s way. Today, however, it serves to allow politicians to manipulate us with negative political advertising and gives the news media a portal through which they can drive advertising. The impact can be seriously harmful to our sense of well-being.
Unfortunately, this bad-news bias is active not only when we sit in front of the television, but in every aspect of our lives. We remember insults far longer than we remember compliments. Fear can paralyze us into acting unwisely or not at all. Read the rest of this entry »