Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Negativity Bias

I was reading today about something called the ‘negativity bias.’ The article said it is a well-recognized psychological phenomenon and goes like this: People react to the bad more strongly and persistently than to the comparable good, and anxious or angry thoughts capture our attention more effectively than happier thoughts.

For example, the pain of losing a certain amount of money is greater than the pleasure of gaining that same sum. In a marriage, it takes at least five good acts to repair the damage of one critical or destructive act.

I know from my own experience, I seem to be more bothered & remember it longer when someone says something ugly to me or about me, than happy when someone says something nice to me or about me.

Also research shows that one consequence of the negativity bias is that when people’s thoughts are wandering or unoccupied, people tend to begin to brood.

Funny, this 'psychological phenomenon' goes right along with what the bible says:

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5

Only by the Holy Spirit working in us can we do or think differently.

4 comments:

Rudy said...

I like your Quiz..

Glenda, saved by grace said...

boy, you sure got me there...I have a bad habit of focusing on the bad and overlooking the good. Thank you for this eye opener!

Glenda, saved by grace said...

P.S. I liked your quiz so much I got one myself!!!

Mr. Baggins said...

I can certainly see this happening in my own ministry. I remember the (rather common) criticisms that I receive far more than I remember the good comments.