Stress and anxiety help people in dealing with bad news, according to a new research.  It states that stressed or anxious people cope better with bad news.

This new UCL-led study sheds light on depression and extends discovery that states pressure is sometimes a good thing. Published in The Journal of Neuroscience, it’s a Wellcome-funded research.

“Generally, people are quite optimistic—we ignore the bad and embrace the good. And this is indeed what happened when our study participants were feeling calm; but when they were under stress, a different pattern emerged. Under these conditions, they became vigilant to bad news we gave them, even when this news had nothing to do with the source of their anxiety,” said co-lead author Dr. Tali Sharot.

The study included 36 participants – young men and women – who were told that they would need to give a surprise speech in front of a panel of judges after completing a task.

Then the researchers asked them to estimate the risk level of various aversive events in their life such as being involved in a car accident or being a victim of a domestic burglary

They then asked them to estimate their likelihood of experiencing 40 different aversive events in their life – such as being involved in a car accident or being a victim of credit card fraud.  The participants were told either good or bad news.

As a result, they found that stressed participants showed no optimism bias – a tendency to take more notice of good news compared to bad news – and digested bad news very easily.



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