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Nagativity Bias

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Do our brains' innate responses to negative stimuli affect negativity bias? In his 2011 book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman writes of an experiment in which two images – one of wide excited eyes and one of calmer narrow eyes – were shown to subjects in a brain scanner. Though both images were digitally obstructed and shown for less than a second, subjects showed much more excitement in their brain scans when the unsettling wide eyes were shown. More specifically, the scans showed increased activity in the amygdala, the so-called “threat center” of the brain. Kahneman (2011) sums up the experiment by stating that in the brain, negative things are given greater priority over positive things. Psychology defines negativity bias as the tendency for one to attribute positive aspects of individuals' behaviors/personalities to their environment whilst attributing negative facets to the individuals themselves; this is especially true when…show more content…
Could the results of these experiments hypothesis show that the infants' and, therefore, our responses to negative social interactions are primarily neurological in origin? Do said results instead show that we are cognitively able to form judgements about negative social interactions at only three months of age? In a study conducted by Dong, Zhou, Zhao, and Lu (2011), 18 participants were each given two tasks in which they would be quickly shown a picture and record whether they thought it was a positive, negative, or neutral image. During the experiment, event-related potentials (ERPs) and anterior hemispheric asymmetries tests (AHATs) were recorded in order to determine if a negativity bias could occur before the subjects experienced negative emotions related to the
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