Summary #380

"Shooting the Messenger" is a psychological reality – share bad news and people will like you less

digest.bps.org.uk
  • In 11 experiments putting people in various situations, researchers have found that we don’t like people who deliver bad news.
  • The effect is even stronger when bad news are unexpected or illogical.
  • People might "shoot the messenger" because they believe the messenger is evil - even when it doesn’t make sense.
  • Overall, this confirms that "shooting the messenger" isn’t a thing of medieval fairytales, but a real psychological phenomenon.
  • Study authors say this makes life harder for people, who might miss out on important advice if they instantly dislike bearers of bad news.

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