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Why Do Some People Always Focus on the Negative?

October 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phineas Upham

Everyone has that one friend, the “negative Nancy” of the group who never seems to know how to look at the bright side of things. A new study suggests that it’s not entirely their point of view: they might be genetically predisposed to focus on the negative. Science Daily reports that a recent study published in Psychological Science reveals than a gene variant can cause people to process emotional events more strongly than others.

According to the article, the study consisted of showing participants a series of positive, negative, and neutral words. People with the gene variant in question were more likely to see negative words than other participants.

Prof. Rebecca Todd of UBC’s Dept. of Psychology told Science Daily that, “These individuals may be more likely to pick out angry faces in a crowd of people.” She added, “Outdoors, they might notice potential hazards — places you could slip, loose rocks that might fall — instead of seeing the natural beauty.”

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About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Twitter page.

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