June 28, 2018

IT'S THE FOX NEWS BUSINESS MODEL:

WE CONTINUE TO SENSE DANGER EVEN WHEN THREATS DECREASE: New research finds when a situation gets less dangerous, we fail to perceive the positive shift. (TOM JACOBS, 6/28/18, Pacific Standard)

Crime rates have declined dramatically in recent years, but Americans believe the opposite is true. The reasons for this misperception presumably include the rhetoric of the president, and the prevalence of crime on local television news.

But new research suggests a more basic cause: We are terrible at recalibrating our initial perceptions of a situation.

It presents evidence that, once we size up the circumstances we face, we doggedly stick with that initial assessment, even when it no longer reflects the facts on the ground. That means when the number of threatening faces we see decreases, we compensate by perceiving neutral faces as threatening.

"The majority of people believe that the world is getting worse," writes a research team led by Harvard University psychologists David Levari and Daniel Gilbert. Our skewed sense of reality "may be one source of that pessimism," they write in the journal Science.

The researchers provide evidence of this surprisingly robust phenomenon in seven experiments.

Posted by at June 28, 2018 4:13 PM

  

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