SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw
University of Economics and Innovation in Lublin (WSEI)
Modern research concerning evaluation of various objects show that the strength of their negative features definitely pushes back from objects stronger than the strength of positive features attracts to them. In a series of empirical studies on social behavior, this positive–negative asymmetry, also known as the negativity effect, has been confirmed, and formed the basis for building an effective strategy for shaping brand image in both, the economic and political market. The present work shows the psychological mechanism of formation of the negativity effect developed in the Tversky’s theory of similarity features in which a set-theoretical approach has been extended for open sets. The results of research conducted on the image of cities shows the specificity and dynamics of the changes in similarities between the compared objects, actual and expected, modified by the negativity effect. It allow to describe the formation of the similarity in the effect of changes in the number of positive and negative features of compared objects. The described mechanism of negativity effect is universal, concerns the evaluation and comparison of physical and social stimuli that can be defined in the theory of similarity features.
Keywords: negativity effect, similarity, image, associative structures
Cite this article as:
Falkowski, A., Sidoruk-Błach, M. (2017). The strength of negative features in shaping similarity: Implications for creating the brand image of a city. Psychologia Społeczna, 41, 156–165. doi: 10.7366/1896180020174104