The Selective Negativity Bias and Working for Humanity

We talk a lot about negativity bias and the tendency of people to favor negative experiences more than positive ones.

I explain by example. I shared many posts promoting the concept of people before profits. I joined actively a campaign promoting this awakening. It turned out that the initiator of the campaign was a crocked person and he managed to rob money from few people. That bad experience is my negative bias that persists in me. Bitter tastes stay longer in the mouth than sweet ones.

There is also, what I call the selective negativity bias. For example, a smoker knows well that smoking is harmful to his health in the long-term. The combination of peoples’ tendency to bias immediate results over long-term results clouds the harmful effects of smoking by seeking its immediate pleasure. The bias towards negativity evaporates in this case.

The problem is this bias creates a complete misunderstanding of the situation smoker’s face. They forget that pleasure is volatile and disappears soon. However, the harm of smoking builds up and store in their body. This harm compounds with time. Suddenly, like a virus does, this harm reaches its tipping point and shoots up rapidly. Too late the smokers find that their health deteriorated and that none of the pleasure of smoking exists.

It is not only smoking that has this selective negativity bias. Not serving humanity is the same. Not serving humanity may give us some immediate, but evaporative pleasure. However, there is pain covered in sweetness underneath this instant pleasure.

Take, for example, the practices of manufacturers to produce one-time use of plastic bottles. If one-person throws one bottle it may not have immediate harm, but for the manufacturer, the pleasure of immediate profit is more important than the compounding harmful effects that the environment will suffer when millions of plastic bottles are thrown as pollutants. The degradation of these bottles may cause harm beyond imagination as the harm compounds with time.

Allowing instant pleasure to override long-term bad effects is an aggravating bias that compounds with time.

Not donating money to help the poor will create what I call “social Voids” that weaken the whole society and create in the end huge social problems and instability. The pain of donating few dollars (or, the pleasure of not donating) clouds the long costly consequences over time.

A business makes a profit by selling to people. It does not sell to animals or trees. People are the source of revenue and profit and yet some businesses dare to put profit before people. They make the shadow more important than the origin. This is not a reversible action and is soundless and meaningless because it is unreal.

Businesses that do not care for their reputation shall not care for their customers. It is unfortunate that businesses show profit and loss statements leaving out the most important one: the profit of keeping people first and the losses if they do not do, including the cost of not attracting ideas from customers.

Businesses that do not care for their customers shall not care for humanity. These businesses should realize that the pleasure of today shall vanish, but their bad actions or negligence of people and the environment shall stay and grow out of proportion.

Who will endure the terrifying costs of such acts?


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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