“This is small switch can produce radical results. It gives us more control over our selective attention. What we pay attention to becomes our reality : Where attention goes, energy flows. The more we focus on one thing, the more real it is for us, sometimes at expense of everything else. ” Dr. Lea Walter
Psychologists have identified four thinking processes wired into our brain that predispose people to negative defaults. The four common negative defaults are Selective Attention, Negativity Bias, Projection and Binary Thinking.
Dr. Walter said that selective attention is a feature that is part of human being. Our brain tends to avoid overloaded information by filtering the incoming information. We always get far more input than our brains can handle with. Thus, our brain selectively focus on some aspects and it can make sense of the world, however, it does this at the expense of noticing other aspects. Our filtering system is so fast but not perfect, therefore we often miss some critical information that could contribute to our assessment of our surrounding environment.
we need to be aware of our selective attention, although the selective attention is not always negative. We have power over it and can choose the focus of our attention.
Remember that we can choose what we want to focus on as we have the power to do so.
The architecture of our brain is programmed to make us see what’s wrong faster and more often than what’s right. The negativity bias occurs automatically and preconsciously.
Negativity bias is universal. According to scientists, people have a “positive – negative asymmetry” that people will pay more attention to negative rather than positive information. In real life, the bottom line we need to know is that bad impressions are easy to gain, and good reputations are easy to lose.
The formation of negativity bias in human being is a result of human being’s revolution. Negativity bias has its advantage as it helps us to keep out of dangers. For example, when we were chased to exhaustion, pounced upon, gored, poisonously stung or bitten, Because it has built into our gene pool, the negativity bias will become a built-in security camera that zooms in on the potential threats, which can alert us to the threats in our environment.
However, the downside is that when we talk about parenting and school education, adults often tend to see kids’ negative behaviors rather than positive ones.