Monday, August 26, 2013

Good News Beats Bad When it Comes to Friends

Here’s a feel-good story to end your summer. It’s about hearing good news from friends.

“When it comes to the media, the classic rule is: Bad news sells. If it bleeds, it leads. No news is good news, and good news is no news. Wars, earthquakes, plagues, floods, fires, the more suffering and mayhem, the more coverage,” states John Tierney in the NY Times.

“But now that information is being spread and monitored in different ways, researchers are discovering new rules. By scanning people’s brains and tracking their e-mails and online posts, neuroscientists and psychologists have found that good news can spread faster and farther than disasters and sob stories.”
“The ‘if it bleeds’ rule works for mass media that just want you to tune in,” says Jonah Berger, a social psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. “They want your eyeballs and don’t care how you’re feeling. But when you share a story with your friends and peers, you care a lot more how they react. You don’t want them to think of you as a Debbie Downer.”

On that upbeat note, I want to wish you a safe and enjoyable end of the summer!