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Become Selective In The News You Expose Your Mind To


Negative news sells. In our society, more people will choose to watch the criminal trial of a celebrity rather than the biography of a truly great human being.

An important new study in the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that negative opinions cause the greatest attitude shifts, not just from good to bad, but also from bad to worse.

A newspaper with a headline revealing the latest tragedy will sell more copies than one announcing the latest scientific breakthrough. The real problem is that it is easy to get addicted to reading and watching negative news. Why is it so of us start our day by reading less-than-uplifting newspaper stories and who end it by catching up on the latest crimes, accidents and scandals on the late-night news.

I am not against newspapers or television by any stretch of the imagination. As a matter of fact, I find excellent information in many newspapers and have learnt much from the intelligent TV programmes I have watched over the years. My point is simply this: become more selective in the news you expose your mind to. Be more deliberate in the way you read your newspaper and in the way you watch your television.

“Consumer attitudes toward products and services are frequently influenced by others around them. Social networks, such as those found on Myspace and Facebook suggest that these influences will continue to be significant drivers of individual consumer attitudes as society becomes more inter-connected,” explain Adam Duhachek, Shuoyang Zhang, and Shanker Krishnan (all of Indiana University). “Our research seeks to understand the conditions where group influence is strongest.”

As things look illusory through coloured looking glasses, the human mind gets mesmerized by the impact of greed, anger and the ego. Then it becomes virtually impossible for the doer to detach himself from the mirage-like negativity.

Before you start reading the morning paper, have a purpose in mind. Use it as an information tool to serve you and to make you wiser rather than as an excuse to help you pass time. One of the best ways to wean yourself from the "news addiction"that so many of us suffer from is to go on a seven-day news fast. Vow not to read even one negative story in the newspaper or watch even one negative news report on television for the next week. You will notice two things. First, you will not really miss out on much information. You will still hear about the most important stories of the day from the conversations that circulate around your office and through your encounters at home.

Second, you will feel much more peaceful and serene. Besides, you will find that the seven-day news fast offers yet another benefit: more time to do the things that will truly improve the quality of your life.


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