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  • Writer's picturelindsayannkohler

Bad News Is Hard To Resist: Use It To Your Advantage

This post originally appeared on Forbes on April 12, 2023.

A recent study published in Nature Human Behaviour found that negative news headlines drive more engagement than positive headlines. Each additional negative word in a headline increased clicks by 2.3%. That increase may seem small, but on a large enough scale it can have an outsized impact on increasing your content's reach.

Researchers conducted a staggering 22,743 experiments on news stories on Upworthy, equating to looking at more than 105,000 headlines. In other words — they looked at a lot of content.

It's well-researched that the lure of the negative is stronger for people than the promise of something positive. One of behavioral science's more well-known principles of loss aversion is a prime example of this. Loss aversion shows that the pain of losing something we already have is twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining something new.

Read the rest on Forbes.

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