We Actually Feel LESS Responsible For The Bad Things We Do

Stress_LyNgoIllustrated By Ly Ngo.
It's a familiar feeling — your boss is giving you accolades for a job well done and your mind is pleasantly taking in the knowledge that you performed well. But, when your project didn't go so well and your boss is holding you accountable for the slide, your brain is likely coming up with tons of reasons that it wasn't really your fault.
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It turns out that, rationale aside, that this dodging of responsibility is actually hardwired into our brains. Researchers did a little test on some unsuspecting subjects, asking them to press a button, after which one of three outcomes occurred: positive, negative, or neutral. The people were then asked how long the response time was between pushing the button and the reaction.
People who experienced a negative reaction to their button pushing reported a longer lag time than those who experienced a positive. But, surprise: All the lag times were the exact same, indicating that our brains actually try to put distance between us and a reaction, but only when the reaction is negative.
Study researcher Patrick Haggard, of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience from the University College London, explains, "Our result suggests that people may really experience less responsibility for negative than for positive outcomes." So, the next time you want to shirk responsibility for forgetting to take out the trash while simultaneously basking in praise for remembering to file a report on time, just remember: It's your brain doing that. (The Huffington Post)
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