Sunday, November 28, 2010

Negativity Bias

Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
My current reading.  Fascinating stuff.  For example:

Did you know our brain has a negativity bias?  For the sake of survival, we evolved to pay much more attention to negative experiences (like a predator) than positive ones.  We are inclined to overlook good news, highlight bad news, ruminate more on negative experiences in the past, and worry about potential ones in the future.

This might explain our collective fixation on bad news - as demonstrated by the success of our largely fear-based 24-hour cable news networks.   Bad news holds our brains in rapt attention.  All the better to sell advertising time!

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