Skip navigation
Skip navigation

The sky is falling: evidence of a negativity bias in the social transmission of information

Bebbington, Keely; MacLeod, Colin; Ellison, T. Mark; Fay, Nicolas


The method of serial reproduction has revealed that the social transmission of information is characterized by the gradual transformation of the original message. This transformation results from the preferential survival of certain types of information and the resolution of ambiguity. Here we present evidence of a bias favoring the social transmission of negatively-valenced information across multiple transmission episodes. Ninety-two, four-person chains transmitted a story containing...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2017
Type: Journal article
Source: Evolution and Human Behavior
DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.07.004


File Description SizeFormat Image
01_Bebbington_The_Sky_is_falling_2017.pdf729.58 kBAdobe PDF    Request a copy

Items in Open Research are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

Updated:  20 July 2017/ Responsible Officer:  University Librarian/ Page Contact:  Library Systems & Web Coordinator