More bad news: a cross-national psychophysiological exploration of negativity biases in reactions to network news

Principal Investigator(s):

Professor Stuart Soroka, University of Michigan

Professor Patrick Fournier, University of Montreal

Professor Lilach Nir, Hebrew University

Literatures, across the social sciences, document the human tendency to prioritize negative information. The importance of this “negativity bias” in the political sphere is clear. Negativity biases affect the content of political news, and structure the content of political debate. And almost all the existing literature, has ignored the possibility that negativity biases may vary across political and social contexts. Thus, this project aims to answer one particular question: Does the negativity bias, evident in our reactions to news content, vary across countries and cultures? Using psychological and physiological measurements, this project aims to capture reactions to network news across 18 countries, including India. The CESS Nuffield – FLAME University team completed the India portion of this experiment in May 2017.