ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (12): 1361-1375.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.01361

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Negativity bias in emergent online events: Occurrence and manifestation

ZHANG Mei1, DING Shuheng1, LIU Guofang2, XU Yazhen1, FU Xinyuan1, ZHANG Wei3, XIN Ziqiang4()   

  1. 1School of Sociology and Psychology, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, 100081, China
    2School of Economics and Management, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, 201306, China
    3School of Information, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, 100081, China
    4Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing, 100872, China
  • Received:2021-02-04 Published:2021-12-25 Online:2021-10-26
  • Contact: XIN Ziqiang
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(72004244);National Natural Science Foundation of China(71874215);National Natural Science Foundation of China(72061147005);National Social Science Foundation of China(20CSH030);humanities and social sciences research planning fund of the Ministry of Education(19YJCZH253);Beijing Natural Science Foundation(9194031);"Young talents" cultivation support program of Central University of Finance and Economics(QYP202110);scientific research and innovation team support program of the Central University of Finance and economics;First class discipline construction project of Central University of Finance and economics


In the generation and dissemination of network emergencies, people tend to pay more attention to the processing and transmission of negative information, and have a negative bias. According to the characteristics of the brewing, outbreak and spread stages of events, this study constructs a psychological mechanism model, and tests the emergence and development of negative bias in information content, information processing and information transmission through three studies. The results show that negative bias is generated not only in the source discourse of network emergencies, but also in the process of individual information processing and interpersonal information transmission, which is manifested in the better memory effect and higher discrimination of individuals on negative words, as well as the selective transmission of negative information and negative interpretation of fuzzy information by netizens. The current research is conducive to understanding the regular pattern of information dissemination of network emergencies, scientifically coping with public opinion crisis and innovating network governance.

Key words: network emergencies, negative bias, memory, transmission chain experiment, cultural evolution