Negativity bias: how negative experiences cloud our judgement - Deepstash
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The negativity bias

The negativity bias

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.

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Signs of the negativity bias

  • Negative experiences constantly cross your mind more than positive ones.
  • You tend to relive insults more than praise.
  • You're able to recall traumatic situations better than positive events.

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What evolution shows about the negativity bias

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.

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Negativity bias and decision making

We make decisions based on the information that we have. However, we tend to be more reliant on the negative more than the positive. This causes two outcomes:

  1. Risk aversion – where we prefer an assured outcome over a gamble with a higher expected outcome; and

  2. Loss aversion – where we tend to shy away from losses in comparison to the acquirement of tantamount gains.

People with negativity bias are less likely to be motivated and have clouded judgement.

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How to manage the negativity bias

  • Pay attention to your thought
  • Take time for self-reflection
  • Make positive routines
  • Use mental models to guide your decisions.

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caleb_e

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