Individual-level differences in negativity biases in news selection

Sarah Bachleda, Fabian G. Neuner, Stuart Soroka, Lauren Guggenheim, Patrick Fournier, Elin Naurin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Literatures across the social sciences highlight the tendency for humans to be more attentive to negative information than to positive information. We focus here on negativity biases in news selection (NBNS) and suggest that this bias varies across individuals and contexts. We introduce a survey-based measure of NBNS which is used to explore the correlates of negative news bias in surveys in the U.S., Canada, and Sweden. We find that some respondents are more prone to NBNS than others. There is evidence of contextual effects, but panel data suggests that some of the individual-level differences persist over time. NBNS likely reflects some combination of long-term personality differences and short-term situational factors, and is systematically related to a number of economic and political attitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109675
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Negativity bias
  • News consumption
  • Personality differences
  • Political communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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