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Reputation Psychology

11 min read

Thinking with guts vs. brains: What is confirmation bias?

Why do you believe the things that you believe? Why do you defend your beliefs? Why do you like others who think as you do? We like to think that our beliefs are our own, formed from our unique, individual experiences, informed by our own logic, devoid of outside bias. But confirmation bias is one factor that quietly pushes us to one side of the fence or the other. In short, people agree with things they already agree with.

6 min read

Why do people click on bad news? Negativity bias

Why are people so negative? Humans have what is called a “negativity bias” because we’ve evolved to react to threats. Like Google, humans are pattern discovery machines; when something stands out, like a threat, our minds highlight it. Why is news so often negative? Because negativity bias is leveraged by the media to increase profits. It's done through clickbait headlines, sensationalism, and spin. Bad news gets more attention, more clicks, and leads to more revenue for publications. Google search results also react to this pattern by giving people what they seemingly want - that often means more bad news.

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5 min read

What is the Streisand Effect?

Summary of the Streisand Effect

On May 30th, 2003 it was reported that Barbra Streisand sued a man claiming an invasion of her privacy because he had shared aerial pictures of her Malibu home. Streisand inadvertently attracted more attention to her home by trying to suppress the images. The Streisand Effect is when the action of suppressing something to reduce or remove visibility it causes the opposite to happen. Similar terms include blowback and astroturfing.