Negativity Bias

Added on April 20, 2020 - Category:

Negativity Bias is a concept that defines the tendency of people to give greater importance to negative events and facts than to positive or neutral ones. Even when negative experiences are inconsequential, humans tend to focus on the negative.

Edward Royzman and Paul Rozin defined four elements that make up this bias: negative power, negative inequality, negative domain, and negative differentiation.

Its application in UX is scientifically proven with hundreds of studies. One such study by Zendesk confirms the following findings:

  • 95% of users share bad experiences and 87% share good experiences with others.
  • Respondents who experienced bad interaction were 50% more likely to share it on social media than those who had good experiences (45% vs. 30%) and 52% more likely to share it on an online review site like Yelp (35% vs. 23%).
  • 54% of respondents who had shared a bad experience said they had shared it more than 5 times, compared to 33% of those who had shared a good interaction.
  • 58% of respondents said they are more likely to tell others about customer service experiences now than they were 5 years ago. That number rises to 61% among Millennials (18-35) and 65% among Gen Xers.

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