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The Power of Bad

How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It
Lu par : Paul Bellantoni
Durée : 8 h et 9 min

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Description

"The most important book at the borderland of psychology and politics that I have ever read." (Martin E. P. Seligman, Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Learned Optimism)

Why are we devastated by a word of criticism even when it’s mixed with lavish praise? Because our brains are wired to focus on the bad. This negativity effect explains things great and small: why countries blunder into disastrous wars, why couples divorce, why people flub job interviews, how schools fail students, why football coaches stupidly punt on fourth down. All day long, the power of bad governs people’s moods, drives marketing campaigns, and dominates news and politics.

Eminent social scientist Roy F. Baumeister stumbled unexpectedly upon this fundamental aspect of human nature. To find out why financial losses mattered more to people than financial gains, Baumeister looked for situations in which good events made a bigger impact than bad ones. But his team couldn’t find any. Their research showed that bad is relentlessly stronger than good, and their paper has become one of the most cited in the scientific literature.

Our brain’s negativity bias makes evolutionary sense because it kept our ancestors alert to fatal dangers, but it distorts our perspective in today’s media environment. The steady barrage of bad news and crisismongering makes us feel helpless and leaves us needlessly fearful and angry. We ignore our many blessings, preferring to heed - and vote for - the voices telling us the world is going to hell. 

But once we recognize our negativity bias, the rational brain can overcome the power of bad when it’s harmful and employ that power when it’s beneficial. In fact, bad breaks and bad feelings create the most powerful incentives to become smarter and stronger. Properly understood, bad can be put to perfectly good use.

As noted science journalist John Tierney and Baumeister show in this wide-ranging book, we can adopt proven strategies to avoid the pitfalls that doom relationships, careers, businesses, and nations. Instead of despairing at what’s wrong in your life and in the world, you can see how much is going right - and how to make it still better.

©2019 John Tierney, Roy F. Baumeister (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critiques

“Blood, boils, death, and darkness: Why does bad always loom so much larger than good? Blame the design of the human mind. In their fascinating new book, Tierney and Baumeister explain why the things we like the least affect us the most, and how we can use this fact to our advantage. The Power of Bad is just damn good!” (Daniel Gilbert, Harvard College professor of psychology and best-selling author of Stumbling on Happiness)

“We all have an inner Cassandra, Eeyore­, Grumpy, Sad Sack, Mr. Worry, Nervous Nellie, and Gloomy Gus. This fascinating look at the negativity bias by one of our most creative psychologists and liveliest science writers can enlighten your understanding of human nature, restore balance to your world view, and yes, cheer you up.” (Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment Now)

The Power of Bad is that rare book that captures a broad swath of human thinking and behavior in one overarching and compelling thesis: The negative has a larger impact on us than the positive. That is an observation with wide-ranging implications for just about everything, including relationships, parenting, marketing, motivation, and management. Baumeister and Tierney show how you can harness this fundamental aspect of human psychology to your benefit - turning the power of bad into a force for good.” (Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D., author of iGen)

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayne
  • 06/01/2020

Another outstanding social psychology book!

Much of THE POWER OF BAD is about the ground breaking research of social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister but this book goes further as contrarian journalist John Tierney provides his helpful insight. More on Tierney later.

The first two decades of the twenty-first century have been the golden years of social psychology thanks in large part to the contributions of such people as Baumeister, Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis, The Righteous Mind, and The Coddling of the American Mind) and Jordan Peterson (12 Rules for Life, Maps of Meaning, and his video series).

The publisher's summary and the critics reviews of The Power of Bad constitute a better review of the book than I could write so just read them.

Coauthor John Tierney wrote science articles and a science blog named TierneyLab for the New York Times for two decades ending in 2009. When he left the NYT my sole reason for reading the newspaper left with him. There was simply no common sense left there. I can still read his work on City Journal and in an occasional post on my favorite blog. Tierney's writing style and his opinions shine through in The Power of Bad.

The narration of Paul Bellantoni is wonderful. He brings the same enthusiasm audio book narration he brought to singing opera.

10 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mitch
  • 15/01/2020

There are a number of gems buried within.

the content is well written and will performed. it does drag at times, buy there a lot of good material throughout.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

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  • KDV
  • 21/02/2020

Must read for our time

Excellent analysis for the negativity bias we all have and how to identify and overcome it. Detailed examples of how this bias affects all aspects of our life, relationships and society. Each chapter covers an application and suggested solutions to overcome this bias. One my favorite reads. I read it a second time to make sure I digested the content. Bravo.

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  • Peter McFadden
  • 08/02/2020

Must listen!

I’ve read ... and listened ... to so many books I sometimes wonder if there is anything left out there to learn. This book was fresh. Gained some valuable new insights. Frankly, I wish everyone would read it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Christoph
  • 04/02/2020

meh

I found the excerpt from this book in The Atlantic insightful and profound, and decided the read the whole book. The authors have some interesting and useful information into negativity bias when they stick closely to psychology research. But then they spend the last several chapters using generalist arguments to try to explain everything in the world. The vastly oversimplified history of religion in the US was especially annoying. There were a couple of good long form article's worth of information in here, not a book.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 25/01/2020

Psycho educational

This book provides a great resource for psychotherapists who deal with patients whose negativity, anxiety, depression and phobias of social unrest can be challenged and redirected to a more positive view of their lives. I wish I had read it ten years ago to help my combat Veterans recover faster.