Negativity bias and political preferences: A response to commentators

John R Hibbing, Kevin B. Smith, John R. Alford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Scopus citations


A broad, multidisciplinary empirical literature reports that individual-level differences in psychology and biology map onto variation in political orientation. In our target article we argued that negativity bias can explain a surprisingly large share of these findings. The commentators generally support the negativity bias hypothesis but suggest theoretical and empirical revisions and refinements. In this response, we organize these proposals, suggestions, and criticisms into four thematic categories and assess their potential for furthering theories and empirical investigations of the bases for individualvariation in political ideology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-350
Number of pages18
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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