Negativity Effects in Impression Formation: A Test in the Political Arena

@article{Klein1991NegativityEI,
  title={Negativity Effects in Impression Formation: A Test in the Political Arena},
  author={Jill Klein},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  year={1991},
  volume={17},
  pages={412 - 418}
}
  • J. Klein
  • Published 1 August 1991
  • Psychology
  • Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Negative information has a stronger influence on impressions of others than positive information, a tendency known as the negativity effect. The hypothesis that this effect would characterize impressions of presidential candidates was tested using National Election Study surveys from 1984 and 1988. Respondents rated the presidential candidates on a number of personality traits. Aggregate-level analyses revealed that personality characteristics that the nation, on average, judged to represent… 
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With a 2-trait impression task in which all traits denoted risk-related behavior and both evaluative and descriptive ratings were included as dependent variables, it was hypothesized that (1)
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TLDR
Results indicated that a single negative behavior neutralized five positive behaviors, yielding an impression only insignificantly better than that based on five negative and five positive actions.
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