“The bad stuff is easier to believe, you ever notice that?”
Julia Roberts, the Oscar nominated actress in Pretty Woman, shares her wisdom when speaking about negativity. “When people put you down enough you start to believe it.”
Backed by psychologists and researchers, the science of negative versus positive compliments is pretty sound. If someone gives you three positive compliments and one negative one, chances are you will focus on the negative one. Why? Psychologists call it negativity bias, and it has a real impact on human emotion and self-esteem. That is why it is so effective in partisan politics.
According to a 2014 study, “negativity bias clearly and consistently separates liberals from conservatives.” Further, “Conservatives are fond of saying ‘liberals just don’t get it,’ and liberals are convinced that conservatives magnify threats. Systematic evidence suggests both are correct.”
If you are reading this, it means you have an interest in politics, and you are probably well educated on the #FakeNews phenomenon that has taken place over the past year. The media landscape has gotten more and more difficult to navigate through. News organizations are saying they are ‘real news,’ while other publications and journalists and even the President of the United States call them fake news. All the while, many news organizations spit out outrageous headlines so readers click, and journalists can make their monthly quotas.
In the world of pay for click, titles become extremely important, and they often play at our negative emotions. While many want to blame the media for these stories, lawmakers have given journalists plenty of outrageous content to work with. Recently, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said of the Republican healthcare bill “people will die,” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “hundreds of thousands of people will die if GOP healthcare plan passes.” Republicans are not innocent in this realm either. Just a few weeks ago Representative Clay Higgins (R-LA) posted a note on Facebook calling for all suspected islamic radicals to be killed.
This negativity affects how we see our country, and while some stories might be true, much of it is fanatical and is not supported by facts, only speculation. Over the past few years America has changed from working to compromise and debate ideas, to unfriending friends and family on Facebook because of who they voted for. Simply put, we are moving backwards, but we can reverse course.
Just as the media provides a check on government, we the people should check media sources and journalists. Follow links, read reports, listen to the entire interview.
Restore Accountability has always provided links to everything we write, and that is for a reason. We want to change the political media landscape by giving our readers sufficient facts, reports, and opinions that cut through outrageous, negative partisan politics. Negativity bias may be a part of human nature, but fear mongering, biased, and unsourced media has gone the way of the dinosaur at Restore Accountability.