Graduation Year

2019

Graduation Month

May

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department

Psychology

Major

Psychology

Faculty Mentor

Yoonhee Jang

Faculty Mentor Department

Psychology

Faculty Reader(s)

Yoonhee Jang

Keywords

positive, negative, feedback, bias, perception

Subject Categories

Cognition and Perception

Abstract

Negative and positive stimuli appear to have their own unique effects on mood, behavior, and even underlying perceptions. Previous experiments have shown that people have the tendency to focus more on negative stimuli than positive; this is referred to as the “negativity effect”. The present study examined this bias, as well as the level of truth that people associate with positive or negative stimuli. In this experiment, students were split into groups and given either a “positive” or “negative” news article to read. Then, they were presented with two scenarios consisting of professors providing either “negative” or “positive” feedback to their students, and were asked to choose which option they believed to be the most truthful. It was predicted that, since people appear to hold a “negativity bias”, a greater percentage of the participants primed with the “negative” news story (versus those exposed to the “positive” news story) would choose the “negative” feedback as being more truthful. Unfortunately, the data did not reveal results significant enough to support the hypothesis, but there did appear to be an interesting trend. Very few from the negative condition chose the negative option, while almost a third of those in the positive condition chose the negative option. Thus, it appears that positive and negative stimuli do have their own unique effects, even if it isn’t in the way that is expected.

Honors College Research Project

Yes

GLI Capstone Project

no

Share

COinS
 

© Copyright 2019 Jordan Broussard