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  • Okay, so you got a new sweater. It looks great and you're getting tons of

  • compliments. But then just one person says something snarky about it and even

  • though you got all that praise you, can't help but stew over the negative

  • comment. Why is that? Why does our mind seem to dwell on the negative?

  • "A lot of my

  • research focuses on how people tend to get stuck in particular ways of thinking

  • and what enables them to get unstuck." Alison Ledgerwood is a psychology

  • professor at UC Davis. "I get to study how humans think and how we could maybe

  • think better." We all know the expression about seeing a glass as half-full or

  • half-empty. It isn't just what you see but how you

  • see it. And the way describe that glass to people can really change how they

  • feel about it. Alison wanted to know what happens when you try to switch your way

  • of thinking from the positive frame to the negative frame — or vice versa. Her

  • research team brought two groups of people into the lab and told them about

  • a new surgical procedure. Group one was told that the procedure has a 70%

  • success rate. For group two, they framed it as a 30 percent failure rate.

  • "It's the same exact procedure and they're giving you the exact same

  • information, but one doctor is focusing on the part of the glass that's full and

  • the other doctor is focusing on the part of the glass that's empty." So, no surprise:

  • People like the procedure when it's described in positive terms and they

  • don't like it when you focus on the failure rate, but then the researchers

  • pointed it out to the first group that you could also think of the procedure as

  • failing 30% of the time. Suddenly people didn't like it anymore. And when they

  • tried a similar thing with group two, pointing out that the procedure had a

  • 70% success rate, people didn't change their mind. "And over and over again in

  • studies like that we find that people seem to get stuck in the negative way of

  • thinking about it and it's hard for them to flip and focus on the positive." So

  • once you frame something negatively, it really sticks. "It makes sense from an

  • evolutionary or functional perspective that our minds are built to look for

  • negative information in the environment and to hold on to it once we find it."

  • Imagine your prehistoric ancestors. You don't want to forget that there might be

  • a predator lurking around. "In many situations, we want our minds to be

  • grabbed by the negative information so that we can fix problems when they're

  • there." But then there are other situations, where we want to get over

  • some small imperfection or a bit of bad news, when it's not helpful to fixate

  • on the negative. What do we do then? "what I really take away from this research

  • for my own life is that it's difficult to see the upside and that it takes work,

  • literally, that we have to put effort into looking at the bright side of

  • things. So we can't assume that our mind is just going to do that automatically

  • and that it's very easy to just keep tilting back towards the negatives." And

  • this is something you can counteract with practice. Like, spending a few

  • minutes each day thinking about the things you're grateful for. Doing this

  • regularly can help it become a habit. And it turns out that this negative bias can

  • change over time. Remember when you were younger and any bad experience

  • felt like the end of the world? "So this kind of pervasive negativity bias starts

  • to diminish and so in our research we've we find that the stickiness of a

  • negative frame seems to disappear entirely by the time people are in their

  • seventies. They seem to flow back and forth between negatives and positives

  • much more easily." So maybe that's something we can all be grateful forthat

  • there are actually some good things about getting older. How do you get out

  • of negative ways of thinking? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to

  • check out our other video all about the teenage brain. Remembering all the things

  • you did as a teenager might make you cringe but neuroscientists are learning

  • that some of the most puzzling teenage behavior may actually serve an

  • evolutionary purpose.

Okay, so you got a new sweater. It looks great and you're getting tons of

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B1 negative procedure frame alison thinking research

Your brain is wired for negative thoughts. Here’s how to change it.

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    林宜悉 posted on 2019/10/12
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