Positive News Articles Can Emotionally Buffer Impact Of Negative Stories

Viewing kind acts, versus merely amusing acts, was especially effective in helping participants retain beliefs about the goodness of others

According to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Kathryn Buchanan from the University of Essex and colleague Gillian Sandstrom from the University of Sussex, UK, people who saw the news about kindness among people after consuming news about a terrorist attack or other immoral acts felt less negative emotions and retained more belief in the goodness of humanity.

The authors split 1,800 study participants into different groups. Across all the groups, participants were shown one- to three-minute-long video news clips or given brief news stories to read: news reporting on a recent UK-based terrorist attack or similar ("Immorality" group); reports of kind acts performed in response to the terrorist attack or unrelated kind acts ("Kindness" group); lighthearted, unserious material ("Amusement" group); and content from the Immorality group plus either the Kindness ("Immorality and Kindness") or the Amusement ("Immorality and Amusement") group.

The "Immorality" group participants reported both significant increases in negative emotion and significant decreases in positive emotion, as well as more negative perceptions of humanity and society. In comparison, "Immorality and Kindness" participants reported relatively lower increases in negative emotion and lower decreases-or even significant increases-in positive emotion. 

"Immorality and Kindness" participants also reported significantly more positive perceptions of humanity than those in the "Immorality" group. The "Immorality and Kindness" group reported more effective mitigation of the negative effects of immorality than the "Immorality and Amusement" group, both in terms of increases in positive emotion and perceptions of society.

The results suggest that positive news can help provide an emotional buffer against negative news. Viewing kind acts, versus merely amusing acts, was especially effective in helping participants retain beliefs about the goodness of others.
The authors hope their results will push the media to incorporate more positive coverage, as well as constructive or solution-oriented framing for complex, important issues.

The authors add: "News stories featuring the best of humanity take the sting out of items exploring the worst of humanity. This allows people to believe to maintain a core belief that is crucial for good mental health: that the world and the people in it are fundamentally good." (ANI)

Tags assigned to this article:
Positive news vs negative news wellbeing


Around The World


Goa Tourism To Make Goa The Ideal Spiritual Destination

Strengthening the travel link between Uttarkashi and Dakshin Kashi as direct flights from Mopa Airport to destinations like Uttarakhand, Dehradun, Nag...

Mpower Debuts In Delhi Pioneering Multidisciplinary Mental Health Services

Present at the launch Dr. Neerja Birla unveiled suicide prevention toolkit to combat the alarming rise of suicides in India ...

Ankush Bhandari Joins Alight Solutions As VP, Country Leader Of Health & Insurance Solutions

Alight is a cloud-based human capital technology and services provider that powers confident health, wealth and well-being decisions for 36 million pe...

Scientists Recreate Neurons That Allow Mice To Walk Again After Injury

In a study on mice, a group of researchers identified a crucial element for recovering functional activity following spinal cord injury...

Cough Sound Analysis Assists In Determining Severity Of Covid-19 Patients

Some of those infected may develop more severe illness and pneumonia, resulting in a more bleak outlook...

Understanding Brain Strokes: Types, Causes And Warning Signs

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is disrupted, leading to a variety of debilitating consequences...

Quick Connect With BW Wellness

Subscribe Our Newsletter