London, Oct 29: When it comes to politics and other issues we deeply care about, negative opinions carry more weight than positive ones, which is why most people prefer to hate politicians than love them, a study has suggested.
The study by the British Journal of Social Psychology showed that a phrase such as ‘I don’t like Obama’ is likely to be more strongly held than a positive view such as “I like Romney”.
Once we hold a negative opinion it is only like to strengthen over time, and this is in direct contrast to positive thoughts, the study said.
According to the Telegraph, the phenomenon could explain why politicians tend to have shelf life, and why when they are sliding out of favour, there is no going back.
Dr George Bizer, of New York’s Union College, and colleagues presented participants in a study with information about two fictional candidates, one conservative, one liberal, for a position on a government board.
After reading about the two candidates, some participants were asked if they ‘supported’ or ‘opposed’ the liberal candidate and some were asked if they ‘supported’ or ‘opposed’ the conservative.
According to the paper, the researchers found that the participants held the negative views more strongly and expressed more certainty about their attitudes than did participants who were asked to frame their opinions positively. (ANI)