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The negativity bias happens when a person dwells on a negative event for a long period of time.
We tend to register negative stimuli every time we go through displeasing situations. This is because negative events have a bigger impact than those of positive ones on our mental and emotional state and this affects our behavior, thoughts, and relationships – often unconsciously.
Paying attention to your surroundings is a typical human behavior exhibiting the will to survive. Being wary about the environment that you are in will make you more likely to survive and pass on your genes.
However, in the current era having negativity bias actually inhibits us to think rationally and make the right decisions.
Prejudice stems in part from cultural learning, our parents, our schools, and social messages in the media. Prejudice is also deeply embedded in our thought networks.
The good news is that we can combat it.
They pop up to do mischief, even when you're not conscious of it.
We can learn to recognize bias in ourselves and reduce the harmful impact of that part of ourselves by applying acceptance and commitment therapy. It focuses on developing psychological flexibility. When we investigate our implicit biases, we become more aware of them and can bring our actions in line with our conscious beliefs.
All forms of prejudice can be explained by what’s called authoritarian distancing - the belief that we are different from some group. Because they are different, they represent a threat we need to control.
When people adopt authoritarian distancing, they display three characteristics:
It is a cognitive bias that causes people to rely too much on their own point of view when they examine or remember events in their life.
This means that people tend to either underestimate how different other people’s viewpoint is from their own, or to ignore other people’s viewpoint entirely.
It occurs primarily due to the fact that we tend to naturally examine and remember events primarily through our personal point of view.
Even when we realize that we should adjust our perspective to see things through other people’s eyes, we tend to anchor this new perspective to our own, and we often fail to adjust from our original viewpoint enough to properly assess how other people feel.