Bad news travels faster than good

Why bad news travels faster than good news

I have been reading many brain and chemical composition related articles recently during the evenings. One of them that intrigued me was –

“Why does bad news travel faster and wider than good news”.

The Columbia Journalism Review is one of the foremost when it comes to researching this particular sub area of brain function. Pew research did an extensive research paper on this as well.

“When an event is flagged as negative by the brain, it’s stored differently and more carefully by the hippocampus.  He likens the brain to Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive or neutral ones.” Rick Hanson

Take a look at all the recent news about “Unicorns fading away”. The number of articles about “Culling of the herd” – not worth linking to, or The Web Summit (Conference in Dublin) controversy.

The number of shares on either article was 3X (Three Times) that of the articles that were positive to neutral about the same topic by the same publication.

What does that say about us as individuals?

I am neither a researcher nor a psychologist, so I cannot evaluate this objectively.

I do know that I read both the pieces negative and positive about Web Summit and came away immediately questioning the pieces that were overly positive, and also questioning the ones overly negative as well.

It has also been proven to be the same with good acts and bad acts.

It takes 5 positive actions to overcome one negative action.

The net of it is, for entrepreneurs, that you will get 5 times as likely “No’s” – at the very least – as many “Yes’s”.

That’s being overly simplistic. For most entrepreneur’s I know that number may vary from 10 to 100.

What is then the best way to counter this?

Developing compassion and practicing mindfulness counters the natural negative bias of the brain.

That’s my thought for the week.

One thought on “Why bad news travels faster than good news”

  1. It is quite true that the mind is attracted towards the negative than the positive. We never doubt the bad things that happen but almost always doubt the good things that happen. Like you said, being mindful of our thoughts and practicing meditation will provide a better grip over our thoughts and emotions,

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