The negativity bias is the propensity to emphasize the negative implications of a case or circumstance. It is a social pattern in which people place a higher premium on negative memories and assign them more weight than positive ones. In this article, I will show you how to deal with negativity bias the smart way.
How Negativity Bias has shaped your life
- It has an impact on our beliefs and philosophies and seems to play a significant role in the propensity to cling to the norm and safety in the face of uncertain stimuli and potentially threatening events.
- Negative feelings, poor parents, and negative reviews all have a greater effect than positive ones. Negativity bias makes us dwell on the negative rather than the positive events that have occurred in our lives.
- Negative information is interpreted more quickly than positive information.
- The media seems to be dominated by bad coverage. Why is that the case? One theory is that negative publicity garners more interest than positive coverage due to the negativity bias.
- Researchers concluded that people tend to view negative images more than positive images. More brain potential is linked to negativity than positivity. Rozin and Royzman suggested the principle of “negative power,” which states that something negative overshadows positive events in a person’s decision-making process.
This theory, dubbed the negativity bias, shapes our lives in both positive and negative ways. It explains why people tend to concentrate solely on someone’s first bad experience. This further explains why people recall more vividly certain experiences in which a painful incident happened or that they disliked, rather than those that were fun.
It is a central law of psychology that has a profound effect on our everyday lives. Positive psychology informs us that the human soul has an insatiable appetite for the negative. It tries to comprehend and foster positivity in the face of the reality that the negative and threatening run rampant through the mind and are greater than the positive.
Why do you tend to drift more toward negativity?
According to studies conducted by American psychologist John Cacioppo, the neural perception of negativity bias results in increased brain activity as opposed to the detection of positive stimuli.
According to the evolutionary philosophy of Rozin and Baumeister, negative events gain greater control than positive events. Responding to the environment in this way encourages survival.
Bad things serve as a reminder that we ought to do something about ourselves; they compel self-regulation. If happiness and enjoyment were eternal, there would be no need for progress to pursue additional benefits.
Good feelings’ variable existence will therefore promote development, which is adaptive. If negative emotions vanish, you can replay your errors at the expense of your life. There is no use in squandering time and money chasing excellent experiences at the expense of safety and survival.
How to deal with negativity bias
By exercising self-control during the day, you will train yourself to notice the emotions that pass through your mind. Additionally, you should study your own actions and get a greater understanding of what functions and what does not. The technique is a helpful framework for this exercise. The objective is to increase your awareness of negative and optimistic feelings and to substitute them with more constructive ones.
Practice mindfulness and meditation.
A 2011 study discovered that when people exercised conscious breathing, their optimistic decisions and levels of happiness increased. The research subjects did well on tasks requiring them to categorize positive triggers.
Use cognitive restructuring: interrupt and redirect negative thoughts for good.
Negativity biases have been shown to be prevalent in depression and anxiety. It’s important to turn a negative incident or encounter into a more positive one by thinking about it in an optimistic manner.
Cherish Positive Moments
When you pause to allow yourself to soak in a good moment, you are cherishing it and developing potential memories. Increasing the pool of optimistic mental memories and emotions enables you to overcome the disparity caused by the negativity bias. The next time you have or build a moment of inspiration and positivity, be sure to enjoy it to the fullest.
We are genetically predisposed to place a higher premium on the negative and pay more attention to it. How do we interfere to avoid at least some of the forms of this toxic bias if we wish to create a healthier world? “How do we overcome this bias?” is a tricky topic that takes a concerted strategy and commitment on our part to continue leaning toward positivity.