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trait negativity bias

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A tendency for unfavourable information about a person to have more impact on impressions of that person than favourable information, so that, for example, even a single unfavourable comment in an otherwise supportive reference or testimonial may create a generally bad impression and undermine the candidate's chances. The effect presumably arises from the fact that information about people tends to be mostly positive or neutral, as a result of which negative information tends to have more salience (1) and to contain more information (2) in the sense of information theory. See also Pollyanna effect.

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