Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research

2014 Edition
| Editors: Alex C. Michalos

Positivity Bias

  • Vera Hoorens
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2219

Synonyms

Definition

Positivity bias may denote three phenomena: a tendency for people to report positive views of reality; a tendency to hold positive expectations, views, and memories; and a tendency to favor positive information in reasoning.

Description

In its most phenomenological and least controversial meaning, positivity bias denotes a tendency for people to judge reality favorably. To the extent that their positive judgments reflect genuinely held positive views, positivity bias may be thought of as the tendency to construe, view, and recall reality flatteringly, including a tendency to approach unknown objects (such as individuals, situations, events, and life in general) with positive rather than with neutral expectations. Positivity bias may also (more controversially) refer to the phenomenon that people favor positive data in information processing. Reflecting this hybrid nature of what may be named “positivity bias,” the subtitle of...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Social and Cultural PsychologyUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium