Negativity Bias

October 20, 2017

People sound more sophisticated when they say something negative than when they say something positive. Criticism sounds smarter than praise. It's stickier and more memorable.

When we make decisions we fool ourselves into thinking we're weighing the pros and cons of each option. However, what we're actually doing is only looking at the downsides. Because of negativity bias, you're really comparing negatives to negatives.

I think it's helpful to aim to make decisions that are the "most good" rather than to make decisions that are the "least bad". Increase the chance of being sharply excellent rather than focusing on the limiting mindset of risk mitigation.