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Negativity Bias Identified Long Before It was Identified (11/18/2020)

Photo by James Lee / Unsplash
The minds of men always dwell more on bad luck. They accept ordinary prosperity as a matter of course. Misfortunes arrest their attention and remain in their memory.
William Graham Sumner, Folkways A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals

Just one of the hundreds of examples of tradition identifying psychological discoveries centuries before modern psychiatry did. If you want a treasure trove of such things, read Catholic contemplatives, the Stoics, and the Hesychasts.

(Sumner, btw, lived from 1840 to 1910, so there is overlap with William James, whose Principles of Psychology (1890) is arguably the beginning of modern psychiatry.)