Positivity offset

Positivity offset

Positivity offset is a psychological term referring to two phenomena: People tend to interpret neutral situations as mildly positive, and most people rate their lives as good, most of the time. The positivity offset stands in notable asymmetry to the negativity bias.

Positivity Offset in perception

Social Neuroscience researcher John Cacioppo has assembled evidence that people typically see their surroundings as positive, whenever a clear threat is not present. Because of the positivity bias, we are motivated to explore and engage with our surroundings, instead of being balanced inactive between approach and avoidance.

Positivity Offset in life satisfaction

Across most cultures, nations, and groups of people, the average and median ratings of life satisfaction is not neutral, as one might expect, but mildly positive.

Groups of people who do not show a positivity offset include people with depression, people in very severe poverty, and people who live in perpetually threatening situations. However, many groups of people that outsiders would not expect to show the positivity offset do, such as people with paraplegia and spinal injury, very elderly people, and people with many chronic illnesses.

Research on emotional adaptation over many decades has demonstrated that given time, people can get used to all but the very worst circumstances (the time required is typically less than two years, except for widowhood which takes longer). The major psychological publications on life satisfaction ratings have come from Ed Diener and his colleagues. [Diener, E. & Diener, C. (1996). Most people are happy. Psychological Science, 7, 181-185.] [Diener, E., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Beyond money: Toward an economy of well-being. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 5, 1-31. [http://s.psych.uiuc.edu/~ediener/hottopic/1-31.pdf available online] ] This empirical work gathered life-satisfaction judgments from many modern and traditional cultures worldwide.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Positivity — is a term popularized by journalist Albert Nerenberg to mean an emphasis on the positive in the face of the gloominess of the 21st Century. Nerenberg was surprised that officially, Positivity is not truly recognized as a word. The term was… …   Wikipedia

  • Negativity bias — is the name for a psychological phenomenon by which humans pay more attention to and give more weight to negative rather than positive experiences or other kinds of information. This shows up in a number of domains, including: When given a piece… …   Wikipedia

  • W. Watts Biggers — (born 2 June 1927, Avondale Estates, Georgia) is an American novelist and co creator of the Underdog TV series. His work sometimes appears under the name Buck Biggers.Born in Avondale Estates, Georgia, Biggers went to Avondale High where he was… …   Wikipedia

  • bone — /bohn/, n., v., boned, boning, adv. n. 1. Anat., Zool. a. one of the structures composing the skeleton of a vertebrate. b. the hard connective tissue forming the substance of the skeleton of most vertebrates, composed of a collagen rich organic… …   Universalium

  • Bône — /bohn/, n. former name of Annaba. * * * I Rigid connective tissue of vertebrates, consisting of cells embedded in a hard matrix. Bones serve as the body s supporting framework, provide muscle attachment points for movement, protect the internal… …   Universalium

  • Ministry of Ink — The Ministry of Ink refers to 35 year old artist and entrepreneur Thomas Pendelton of A E s Inked fame. The inspiration behind his clothing line’s name, “Ministry of Ink” comes from Pendelton’s ordainment as a minister. He describes the style of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”