Why is bad news selling


Why is bad news so popular?

A reflection on Bad News Are Good News by Christa Schyboll

The media worldwide live from it: Bad news sells much better than good news. They are more in demand and more popular - completely contrary to the other statements of people who actually treat themselves and others to everything good. Only when reading / listening / watching TV etc. it obviously does not apply: The terrible has its unbroken charm! - The sales figures and audience ratings are simply more honest than opinion polls. That there are other people remains unaffected. Here only the rule is considered a little and not the compassionate or compassionate. So we are talking about the (all) common people. It is likely that both sexes are likely to have similar conclusions.

If you send "bad news" about yourself or your immediate family environment to strangers or friends, the percentage of those interested should not only be higher than with "good news", but in many cases something will also be activated: social skills! If you can give it as a listener or if you are even asked for it by the advice seeker, the day is saved. You experience yourself as a listener, a comforter, as a consultant as socially competent and in the evening you go to bed in proud tranquility. You have achieved something, you have donated consolation, you could even help!

But what is it that makes people who are actually generally well-disposed, so hot, nevertheless "prefer" to hear or read bad news than good news: Without claiming completeness, it can be stated that the bad news is in the Usually a sense of liveliness sets in. An inner activity starts, which can be, for example, a lightning-fast instinct of danger. Certain questions immediately spring to mind: “Can that happen to me too? Do I live just as dangerously? Am I the next to turn? "

With good news, on the other hand, the feeling arises: “Yes, fine! - Oh, great! ”…. Short joy, at best, provided that the good news does not meet with envious hammers. But then it is already over with the feelings, as long as it does not directly affect you.

In the case of bad news, however, this first feeling of the danger instinct can, for example, lead to deep and far-reaching chains of associations, which, after checking the potential danger, now operate in thought with avoidance strategies. Or precautionary thoughts with perhaps bizarre prophylaxis actions let the ventricles flare up a little.

Such lightning-fast activities are often “dead” relationships, gray everyday life, unrealized dreams, a great opportunity to “feel” something. Ultimately, even himself. So it could very well be that the attractiveness of bad news ultimately turns out to be, among other things. It also feeds on the fact that one can simply “feel more alive” when listening to the bad news, is challenged with one's talents, ideas or energy - even if it is only in the current imagination, far away from the location of the terrible events.