(NEW YORK) — Who hasn’t heard the phrase, “Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news”?
If you’re on the receiving end of that statement, chances are you want to hear the bad stuff first, according to psychologists Angela M. Legg and Kate Sweeny.
In their study entitled, “Do You Want the Good News or the Bad News First? The Nature and Consequences of News Order Preferences,” Legg and Sweeny say that people who pose the question generally don’t want to drop the boom right off the bat and are more inclined to give the good news first.
They explain that it’s a complicated scenario since those on the receiving end would rather get the bad news out of the way first because the reverse order seems to makes the situation worse.
Meanwhile, Legg and Sweeny have advice for doctors who are put in the roles of news-givers. They suggest if it’s a severe diagnosis and prognosis with no upside, they should give the bad news first and then try to temper it was positive information.
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