American’s Emotions Continue to Trend Negative

Our emotions greatly influence all other brain capacities, which can also be impaired by mental conditions like depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Watch to Learn More

Emotional Awareness

Emotional awareness helps us build relationships and trust. It impacts how well we read emotional cues in others and informs our behavior in uncertain situations.

Emotional Awareness Remains Intact

The pandemic has not caused a significant change in how well working Americans accurately perceive others’ emotions.

Unwavering Emotional Awareness in Both Men and Women

Men and women are similar in that neither has shown a change in how well they accurately perceive others’ emotions.

All Ages Show Steady Emotional Awareness

The lack of change in emotional awareness is consistent across all age groups of working Americans.

Nonconscious Negativity Bias

Nonconscious negativity bias is our natural intuition formed by life experiences. It strongly influences our feelings, motives and decisions. And, it determines how effectively we communicate and collaborate with others.

Nonconscious Negativity is Worsening

Beneath the surface, working Americans are 5% more negative. This equates to more snap judgements and an increase in gut instincts that “things are not quite right.”

Increased Negativity Shared by Men and Women

Both working men and working women are shifting in a more negative direction. Negativity is up in both men and women by 5% on average.

Biggest Change Seen Across Younger Workers

Nonconscious negativity bias has amplified most for those in the 20-39 and 40-59 age groups with negativity increasing 9% and 6% respectively. Underlying negativity has not changed in workers who are 60 or older.

Constant Threat of COVID-19 is Triggering Negative Feelings

Working Americans may not necessarily realize it, but the sustained mental and emotional strain we’ve been experiencing during the pandemic is skewing our feelings and perceptions. In short, we are becoming more negative.

This shift isn’t a conscious choice, rather, it is part of the brain’s natural response to the constant looming threat of COVID-19.

Normally, when a threat is detected, the brain activates a threat response to keep us safe. This response triggers feelings of fear and alarm that subside once the threat is resolved. But the COVID-19 threat isn’t being resolved, so the threat response isn’t shutting off. As a result, we’re unable to escape the brain’s threat response triggers. This is causing mental and emotional strain, and an increase in negative feelings.

PODCAST – How To Master Your Emotions

Listen to Total Brain Founder Dr. Evian Gordon’s podcast “How to Master Your Mind and Emotions During This Crazy Time,” where he talks about emotions with John Assaraf. Assaraf is one of the world’s leading behavioral experts. He has written two New York Times bestselling books and appeared on Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Listen Now