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Eldorado

Does the public prefer bad news?

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Eldorado

There’s plenty of research showing that we do indeed have negative bias when it comes to information processing. Bad news sticks, whereas good news slides away as if coated in teflon. 

Evolutionary theory ventures that negativity may have been helpful for survival. Negative information alerts to potential dangers and we need to pay attention to it to avoid bad outcomes. In fact, it may drive even more attention towards negative information so we can try to figure out our best course of action, hence setting up this demand for negative news, and for the media to increase their supply to meet our needs.

Is this universal, or can culture account for differences in negativity preferences?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/crisis-earth/202104/do-americans-prefer-bad-news

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ouija ouija
9 minutes ago, Eldorado said:

 

Evolutionary theory ventures that negativity may have been helpful for survival. Negative information alerts to potential dangers and we need to pay attention to it to avoid bad outcomes.

 

This ^ ^ seems obvious, really. :mellow:

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Eldorado
6 minutes ago, ouija ouija said:

This ^ ^ seems obvious, really. :mellow:

But there are plenty who avoid the news altogether because it's so depressing.  Are they fools?

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ouija ouija
1 minute ago, Eldorado said:

But there are plenty who avoid the news altogether because it's so depressing.  Are they fools?

Certainly not! I think what has happened is that our somewhat primitive and limited brains have just been overwhelmed with bad news. We weren't 'designed' to process so much information,(often on a daily basis), especially when so much of it does not directly affect us and isn't relevant to us individually.

I think those who avoid the news to a large extent are taking good care of their mental health.

This is why it's so frustrating that most of our politicians do such a poor job. They are being paid to sort out problems that affect the communities they were voted in by, but they can't be trusted to do that so not only do we have to worry about whatever the original problem is, we also have to concern ourselves with whether or not politicians are dealing with it properly! 

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Manwon Lender
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Eldorado said:

But there are plenty who avoid the news altogether because it's so depressing.  Are they fools?

No their shutins who have lost touch with reality. Maybe, it's because they feel powerless to change anything, or maybe what they see just scares the hell out of them.  But either way shutting yourself off from local, national and world events isn't healthy. Even though, it takes some effort to discover the truth do to biased reporting, it is still important to know what is going on around you. So, no in my opinion they are not fools, but they do certainly have some form of mental issue!:yes:

jIMO

Edited by Manwon Lender
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Eldorado

Related...

Studies have linked the consumption of bad news to increased distress, anxiety and depression, even when the news in question is relatively mundane. According to Graham Davey, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Sussex, exposure to bad news can make personal worries seem worse and even cause “acute stress reactions and some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder that can be quite long-lasting.”

https://www.cmaj.ca/content/193/12/E428

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Manwon Lender
1 minute ago, Eldorado said:

Related...

Studies have linked the consumption of bad news to increased distress, anxiety and depression, even when the news in question is relatively mundane. According to Graham Davey, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Sussex, exposure to bad news can make personal worries seem worse and even cause “acute stress reactions and some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder that can be quite long-lasting.”

https://www.cmaj.ca/content/193/12/E428

I understand the Post Tramtic Stress Disorder, and yes depending upon the person it could certainly effect them but I believe the percentage of those effected would be low for the following reason. PTSD is response that is stored as a memory, normally It normally only effects those who have been through a single or multiple traumatic experiences, and it can takes to show out if no where. Years ago they called it shell shock, and they felt that the individual was faking or just weak. Scientific researchers have over the years proven it is a direct result of a tramtic event stored as a memory, A good example of PTSD not caused by combat occurred when the twin towers were destroyed on 9/11. New Yorkers who actually watched that horrific event, along with those who worked the bucket brigades, first responders, police and many more are suffering from that event.:(

JIMO

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ouija ouija
12 minutes ago, Eldorado said:

Related...

Studies have linked the consumption of bad news to increased distress, anxiety and depression, even when the news in question is relatively mundane. According to Graham Davey, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Sussex, exposure to bad news can make personal worries seem worse and even cause “acute stress reactions and some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder that can be quite long-lasting.”

https://www.cmaj.ca/content/193/12/E428

The first part of the above link is good but then it flies off at an unrealistic tangent(IMHO).

I get distressed, anxious and depressed very easily about bad stuff in the news but it helps if I can remind myself that, in the part of the world I live in, with my individual situation, there is in reality very little I need to worry about. And believe me, I am very grateful for that!

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HandsomeGorilla
44 minutes ago, Manwon Lender said:

No their shutins who have lost touch with reality. Maybe, it's because they feel powerless to change anything, or maybe what they see just scares the hell out of them.  But either way shutting yourself off from local, national and world events isn't healthy. Even though, it takes some effort to discover the truth do to biased reporting, it is still important to know what is going on around you. So, no in my opinion they are not fools, but they do certainly have some form of mental issue!:yes:

jIMO

I certainly do! 

Thanks for the psychoanalysis 

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Manwon Lender
Just now, HandsomeGorilla said:

I certainly do! 

Thanks for the psychoanalysis 

Anytime let me know if I can help in the future!:lol:

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Grey Area

I think there’s an element of self gratification and confirmation in bad news.  Bad news can give your own circumstances some perspective or indeed highlight that you are not alone in your own situation.

I would suggest that many who actively avoid the news do so through mistrust and not because they genuinely don’t want to learn about what is going on.

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jethrofloyd

Bad news sells better! B)

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ouija ouija
3 minutes ago, jethrofloyd said:

Bad news sells better! B)

. . . . . for the reasons given in the OP.

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Xeno-Fish
2 hours ago, Eldorado said:

Evolutionary theory ventures that negativity may have been helpful for survival. Negative information alerts to potential dangers and we need to pay attention to it to avoid bad outcomes. In fact, it may drive even more attention towards negative information so we can try to figure out our best course of action

Well, looks like I'm right in my war against excessive or blind optimism.:tu:

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Bendy Demon

It is, in my view, part of the social conditioning to crave depressing and violent news. We focus on negativity and glorify violence, depravity and destruction and sneer at good or happy news.

I see it as a kind of high society gets when viewing bad news or violence, much like a drug hit. It feels 'good' to many because it produces a feeling that is harder hitting than something happy, pleasant, amusing..

Just look at the dismal television shows we have, its nauseating. It's called programming for a reason..

 

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Xeno-Fish

Life has never been rainbows and kittens. It is a brutal and ugly thing. Not a lot of people can accept that. 

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spartan max2

I think prefer is the wrong word, but people are certainly more likely to pay attention to bad news. Evolution and all that. 

For a prehistoric example: Jimmy successfully hunting his first sabertooth is less important to remember for your survival than that Jimmy died from eating a small red berry from a prickly bush.

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Hammerclaw

 

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HandsomeGorilla
On 4/11/2021 at 7:12 AM, Manwon Lender said:

Anytime let me know if I can help in the future!:lol:

Lmao the guy who spends 90% of his forum time posting manic opinion pieces

Right

 

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Manwon Lender
8 minutes ago, HandsomeGorilla said:

Lmao the guy who spends 90% of his forum time posting manic opinion pieces

Right

 

Like I said, I will be happy to help anytime I can.:D

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TashaMarie

I stopped following the news for a few years I think mainly because it felt like a really bad rerun of a very depressing soap opera.  I do however now read the news regularly, I also look up good news stories regularly to remind myself that there is good in this world we just tend to not bother looking for it. 

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Xeno-Fish
12 minutes ago, TashaMarie said:

I stopped following the news for a few years I think mainly because it felt like a really bad rerun of a very depressing soap opera.  I do however now read the news regularly, I also look up good news stories regularly to remind myself that there is good in this world we just tend to not bother looking for it. 

I just don't feel like good news exist. 

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Desertrat56
On 4/11/2021 at 4:26 AM, Manwon Lender said:

No their shutins who have lost touch with reality. Maybe, it's because they feel powerless to change anything, or maybe what they see just scares the hell out of them.  But either way shutting yourself off from local, national and world events isn't healthy. Even though, it takes some effort to discover the truth do to biased reporting, it is still important to know what is going on around you. So, no in my opinion they are not fools, but they do certainly have some form of mental issue!:yes:

jIMO

I avoid the news and it is not because I am a shutin who has lost touch with reality.   I also do not feel powerless.  Maybe you are confusing information and what we call "news".   I have plenty of outlets for information and I don't have to subject myself to all the bad reporting, agenda reporting and propaganda that is called "news".

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TashaMarie
7 minutes ago, Xeno-Fish said:

I just don't feel like good news exist. 

I guess it depends on your idea of good news, I feel there is always something good or positive to read/hear about you just have to look a little harder to find it at times.

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Xeno-Fish
2 minutes ago, TashaMarie said:

I guess it depends on your idea of good news, I feel there is always something good or positive to read/hear about you just have to look a little harder to find it at times.

I guess my psyche has been so assaulted that I can no longer "see good" in his world. Guess the programming has took hold. 

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