Those awful negative campaign ads: do they work? – Scientific evidence shows that negative campaign ads, costing MILLIONS of dollars, actually physically repulse potential voters. Are we going to get the leaders we so desperately need? Other research shows that when a group is without a leader, you can count on a narcissist to take charge.

Researchers James Angelini and Samuel Bradley showed negative ads that aired during the 2000 presidential election to a group of volunteers and found that negative ads make people want to physically turn away?but the mind remembers negative messages, though sometimes incorrectly.The Wisconsin Advertising Project reports that “during the week of Sept. 28-Oct. 4, nearly 100% percent of the [John] McCain campaign?s advertisements were negative. During the same period, 34% of the [Barack] Obama campaign?s ads were negative.”

Researchers have found that people who score high in narcissism tend to take control of leaderless groups. Narcissism is a trait in which people are self-centered, exaggerate their talents and abilities, and lack empathy for others. Narcissists, by definition, are self-centered and overconfident in their own abilities.

Psychologist Amy Brunell says, “Not only [do] narcissists rate themselves as leaders, which you would expect, but other group members also [see] them as the people who really run the group?It’s not surprising that narcissists become leaders. They like power, they are egotistical, and they are usually charming and extraverted. But the problem is, they don’t necessarily make better leaders.”

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