Negativity bias is a term used to describe the tendency of the human brain to notice problems or threats more readily than positive or beneficial situations. One theory on why this tendency exists is that it has historically had survival value. If, while sitting around the fire, we hear a stick break in the darkness nearby, some may dismiss it as harmless, and others may assume it is a wild beast looking to eat them. More often than not, those who panic are wrong, but the consequences of that are minimal. When those who dismiss the potential threat are wrong, though, rare as it may be, the consequences are deadly. Those who more frequently noticed dangerous situations were more likely to survive and pass on their genes.
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