Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck) | Alison Ledgerwood | TEDxUCDavis

  • Published on Jun 22, 2013
  • Alison Ledgerwood joined the Department of Psychology at UC Davis in 2008 after completing her PhD in social psychology at New York University. She is interested in understanding how people think, and how they can think better. Her research, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, investigates how certain ways of thinking about an issue tend to stick in people's heads. Her classes on social psychology focus on understanding the way people think and behave in social situations, and how to harness that knowledge to potentially improve the social world in which we all live.
    In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Comments • 1 311

  • Kevin Torres
    Kevin Torres 2 days ago +1

    BE the “what happened good in their day” for someone.

  • Sarv Grover
    Sarv Grover 7 days ago

    Internal strength gives us positive thoughts and ignore the negativity.Thanks Alison Ledgerwood

  • StJohns River66
    StJohns River66 8 days ago

    People just face reality lol

  • JC Fullmore
    JC Fullmore 8 days ago +3

    I have problem always seeing the positive and literally get mocked for it, until I'm needed to help others perceive different. Not sure why I'm so fortunate to have this mindset because I've had many many bad things happen.

    • Trumpty Dumbty
      Trumpty Dumbty 5 days ago

      If you were so positive you wouldn't call it a problem.

  • Galactic llama
    Galactic llama 9 days ago


  • June H
    June H 11 days ago

    Jobs saved versus jobs lost is bad either way because it doesn't account for new jobs created. That is why it's a negative, because no matter the percentage, people still lost jobs. Good intentions, but bad context. This is not legitimate scientific research because the reasoning is flawed.

  • Troy Jones Sr
    Troy Jones Sr 12 days ago

    Stop watching Tell Lie Vision, being a Materialistic chasing nut, pick up the Book of John and read it, then read the book of Ephesians Chapter Six..then you will know the Enemy that has been deceiving you through smooth talking BS... This is how you not only Win but Conquer the Negative Pimp game they Feed you.. Obviously I'm not Religous, it's called Logic, Wake up from those ten to fourteen percent Brains people!👏😎✊

  • Hans Hoerdemann
    Hans Hoerdemann 14 days ago

    Her first comment is a negative about herself.

  • pravallika Thota
    pravallika Thota 15 days ago

    Telugu mental ladies talk

  • Jeevan Koiri
    Jeevan Koiri 16 days ago

    A great mativation i have ever got

  • Peter & Pete
    Peter & Pete 17 days ago

    I think Ted should do a talk on love, the most prized human quality one can ever have yet people seem to use the word flagrantly yet never seem to understand what love actually is. Come on Ted, you guys can do it!!

  • Nelson's Rudolph
    Nelson's Rudolph 17 days ago

    Wow, Ted Talks are the most one dimensional secular humanistic 9of dealing with life.

  • imran badurdeen
    imran badurdeen 17 days ago

    The reason why we have this negative problem is because we use our logical left brain more often than our imaginary right brain. I as a human being living mainly in a economical based environment tends my left brain to work more.

  • Ridho Pradana
    Ridho Pradana 18 days ago

    I'm literally in tears. Thanks for the beautiful message.

  • Human Earthling
    Human Earthling 18 days ago

    Yes, there is a lot of research into the social sciences....the only problem is that these research studies funded initially by Foundations owned by the Rockefellers, Fords, and other super wealthy entities apparantly (today in hindsight) had a hidden agenda; their interest in understanding human behavior was and still is, in learning how to control the population. This is not a negative comment. It is a positive one. Do we want to be controlled? Especially to the extent such control as assumed in modern times. I think not. It's all well and good to speak in sound bites. It's quite another to live one's life by them.

  • Shamal Karunarathne
    Shamal Karunarathne 19 days ago +1

    It takes 4 seconds to deduct 100 from 600? who/what were the participants in that test?

  • Katie Fish
    Katie Fish 19 days ago

    The advice starts at 7:22, if you want to skip ahead.

  • WonderMagician
    WonderMagician 20 days ago +1

    Focusing on what works is definitely worth pursuing for the greater good of self and others

  • Wm Petroff
    Wm Petroff 20 days ago

    Your talk makes sense to me. I like the ideal of practicing effort of the good in my life. I'm going to begin with one line a day and work it up. Thank you.

  • Jean Foerster
    Jean Foerster 21 day ago


  • louise Bernard
    louise Bernard 24 days ago

    Her voice isn't hers.

  • Lil Snooze
    Lil Snooze 26 days ago

    It is said "we are more likely to change our minds when we are correct" and I think that has a lot tl due with this.

  • dangermouse2229 TRUMP
    dangermouse2229 TRUMP 26 days ago

    Very positive and uplifting I'm a person that struggles with seeing the positive side of things I'm on a personal quest to better myself and the way I see my world

  • --
    -- 27 days ago

    Didn't listen... but... cool outfit.

  • Anders Næss
    Anders Næss 28 days ago

    when someone describes the glass as half empty it gives the assumption that is has been emptied, from a full glass. it has gone from 100% to 50%. so you will get half of what was possible. you will get a temporal understanding that the water is in a state of being emptied, and that is negative, because you would assume that it will soon be emptied even more. when someone describes it as half full it gives the impression that it has never been full, but currently it has gone from zero to 50%. our understanding is that it is in the process of being filled up, and that is a positive and hopeful feeling, because "half full" talk about the action of filling up. "half empty" talk about the action of emptying out. I don't think people process things in a time-freeze snapshot. people are constantly trying to make predictions about the future, to plan their safety, so they will hear the action, not the description.
    the same with the success/failure. we listen to it in a temporal perspective. 70% success reads as it has gone from 0% to 70% and are trending upwards, it is positively hopeful. it is describing the action of succeeding. describing it in the perspective of failure insert the assumption that it is trending towards failures. it has dropped from 100% to 70%. the action of failing. the trend is downwards, and people are expecting it to drop to 60%, to 50% etc.
    In my view what is necessary to understand is that you need to convince people of positive trends, not just reframing of information. both of the 70%/30% flipsides are of course received negatively thumbs-down because they show unstable predictions - the successes and failures are wobbly and shifting, and doesn't promote security or predictability. whereas only informing about the success gives the impression that it has gone linearly from 0% to 70% and are continuing upwards.

  • Alf Tupper
    Alf Tupper 29 days ago

    My glass got stolen.

  • Sins Greed
    Sins Greed Month ago

    Moral of the Story: If you want something good you have to work for it

  • gmodesike
    gmodesike Month ago

    She's Sekc

  • random man
    random man Month ago

    you can dance, ... you can !

  • Adnan Aqeel
    Adnan Aqeel Month ago

    At this point, I got confused about what does really matter: your content or shouting out loud to get your point across? She anchored her idea with so much ease, making it digestible that even a third grader can catch on. Her communication skill is spot on: calm, composed, collected with a relevant and gliding connection in her words.

  • June Grace
    June Grace Month ago +1

    Yup, takes years/decades to build reputation & seconds/minutes to dissolve/destroy

  • Shriraj S Shetty
    Shriraj S Shetty Month ago

    Think positive all the time

  • unknown person
    unknown person Month ago +1

    0:39 I can totaly relate with this graph..
    i have extremely negative mindset becoz of many failures in my life of 22 years and now it is getting out of control and i need help..
    i cannot talk with my parrents and i have already lost my closed friends, so i am about to finish..

  • Swamy G
    Swamy G Month ago +1

    The brain has a negative bias. Rick Hanson talks about this in his book Buddha's Brain.

  • Anjas Jati Kesuma
    Anjas Jati Kesuma Month ago +1

    Being positive is required serious work for sure.. 💪

  • Gabriel J
    Gabriel J Month ago

    Such a helpful speech. It is surprisingly hars to change back from losses to gains. The example of academic life really touched me. Even if the best thing happens, you wont be able to fully enjoy it as if that bad thing didnt happen last morning.

  • Ed
    Ed Month ago

    hmmmm Rich, white women telling me how to get out of a bad situation.....I'd like to know how bad her situation was...Did she not find the right shoes or was the line too long at the treadmill today? Espresso too cold?

  • Mutilator24
    Mutilator24 Month ago +2

    An EXCELLENT talk, thank you!

  • Daulton Tawater
    Daulton Tawater Month ago

    I really needed to hear this! Honestly lol im in tearswtf!!.. Thank you so so much!

  • Jay Charles
    Jay Charles Month ago

    Study Wayne Dyer: he had a hard childhood but made it as a teacher PHd also. He taught spirituality as well. Another-Earl Nightingale d 1989, survivor of Pearl Harbor USS Arizona.

  • CombraStudios
    CombraStudios Month ago

    This phenomena heavily influenced my life. I used to get excited about my free-time projects but as soon as one small doubt about the project hit me I started doubting every part of it. I had awesome plans and basically none of them got executed. Those were minor flaws but I feared they'd ruin the whole thing so I actually never started working on them and only carried near-perfect plans in my head. Only I know what could I have accomplished and what all I missed, doubting myself instead.

  • Jono Slight
    Jono Slight Month ago

    Thank you!

  • Marks Alot
    Marks Alot 2 months ago

    😍. Welcome to the real world. Positive is work.... but worth it.

  • Jai Prateek
    Jai Prateek 2 months ago +1


  • Norman Smith
    Norman Smith 2 months ago

    Keep the attitude of grattitude.

  • Zahid H Khan
    Zahid H Khan 2 months ago


  • Sakina Laxmidhar
    Sakina Laxmidhar 2 months ago

    Thank you 🙏👌👌👍👏👏

  • mark broad
    mark broad 2 months ago

    Because people want to see worst case

  • Angelia Campbell
    Angelia Campbell 2 months ago +1

    i hate ted talk they are terrible

  • alwayz hungry 4 knowledge

    Thank you so much for the inspiration and for sharing your research, looking for helping humans to see the bright side! 😊

  • Paddy C
    Paddy C 3 months ago

    Needing to put more work/effort in order to be thinking, feeling and being more positive reminds me of what I like to call Successful Suffering; making the suffering (effort) worth it. Much like "no pain, no gain".

  • crisanto antiporda
    crisanto antiporda 3 months ago

    thanks for sharing..

  • Fashfrog 14
    Fashfrog 14 3 months ago +1

    Women shouldn't have hair this short. It's really off-putting.

  • sparta buddies
    sparta buddies 3 months ago

    Who takes over 10 seconds for 600-100

  • Mr. C
    Mr. C 3 months ago

    Lost my lifestyle n investment properties. Stuck for years in depression. STUCK

    SEF ALCANTARA 3 months ago

    Great tall!! Wish I've seen this b4

  • Nhật Hoàng
    Nhật Hoàng 3 months ago

    I am about to take an important exam and back then, things were out of control , i had to study far into the night , my head was full of negativities but after listening to your talk , i felt more confident , i got my energy back and right now i am fully-armed , ready for an upcoming battle with positive thoughts and may god be with me ❤️

  • Pauline Gray
    Pauline Gray 3 months ago

    My hubby doesn't even HAVE a glass!! 😂

  • Lessons In Life
    Lessons In Life 3 months ago

    “If you focus on negative, the results will likely be negative. If you focus on positive anticipation and positive outcome, then positive results will follow.”

  • Ken Jackson
    Ken Jackson 3 months ago

    The arithmetic correlation is wrong. The reason why it takes longer to compute the second phrasing of essentially the same question is there is a double negative in it. It’s inherently a more difficult way to compute and ask the same question and people are more likely to re-read and be more hesitant with the answer. Otherwise great talk! 👍🏻

  • Tarae Keathley
    Tarae Keathley 4 months ago

    Thank you 😊

  • Neysis Rangel
    Neysis Rangel 4 months ago

    "We can re-train our minds if we put a little more effort into it", simplistically put according to the speaker who is making a case about how we are prone to think negatively. Wow, if only it was that simple and that easy. Here's a better advice instead- you are doing the best you can, take one moment at a time, and it's ok to feel negative and positive, it happens to all of us, you don't have to re-train anything, if you are already dealing with depression to ask your brain to re train may just put someone over the edge. Instead, create a distraction, and accept yourself.

  • Karan Kay
    Karan Kay 4 months ago

    Great speech, Alison.

  • Smartphone Master
    Smartphone Master 4 months ago

    It's true people like me need great effort to just motivate our self but just stay do nothing is enough to fall in negative thoughts.

  • Jane Li
    Jane Li 4 months ago

    Amazon video! Thank you for helping me put things in perspective again

  • Dan Larner
    Dan Larner 4 months ago

    Don't worry about it

  • Stephanie Velazquez
    Stephanie Velazquez 4 months ago

    yay go UC Davis! I currently go there :)

  • Bashar Abdullah
    Bashar Abdullah 4 months ago

    The Loss Frame has so many implications. It actually explains why sometimes I tell others "don't tell me if you didn't like the movie. Let me see and judge". Because when I read bad reviews about films, I often go with low expectations, and it must be exceptionally good to alter my mind.

  • Như Ngọc
    Như Ngọc 4 months ago


  • Mayada Mohammed
    Mayada Mohammed 4 months ago

    If someone know them tell them that to contact me

  • Mayada Mohammed
    Mayada Mohammed 4 months ago

    Hello tedx

  • Mayada Mohammed
    Mayada Mohammed 4 months ago


  • Mayada Mohammed
    Mayada Mohammed 4 months ago

    Tedx talk ,please contact with me

  • Mayada Mohammed
    Mayada Mohammed 4 months ago

    Iam mayada mohammed imam asudanese inspired motivator i started writing my own books

  • Mayada Mohammed
    Mayada Mohammed 4 months ago

    I have more i discovered more good ideas about how to stop negativity

  • Mayada Mohammed
    Mayada Mohammed 4 months ago

    Alison can we meet?

  • 101 Clan
    101 Clan 4 months ago +1

    Guys your mom

  • Free Bert
    Free Bert 4 months ago +1

    Thanks to the Husband.

  • Kishore Punnath
    Kishore Punnath 4 months ago +1

    She is absolutely right. But how to get out of such situations???

  • benny tam
    benny tam 4 months ago

    Our mind autopilot to threats. When we sense anything which is negative, our impulse and neutron in our brain keep us alert with any threats ( negative ) . It keeps out guard up.

  • Julie's Sign Language Class

    Love the video! I have a sanguine temperament and, of course, an dating a melancholic. One of our favorite games is re-interpreting what he thinks negatively into my positive version. For example, we are taking ballroom dancing. When we first started dancing, my boyfriend thought that other people were wondering why we were even out on the floor since we were so terrible. Now that we are good, he thinks others are thinking that we think we are such hot stuff and that we are better than everybody. My version--The guys are wishing that he would take a break so that they can dance with a hot chick like me and the women are wishing that their partners would dance as well as he does! It is funny how differently we view the same situation.

  • Apprised Beauty
    Apprised Beauty 4 months ago

    Even walking is a controlled fall and all humans have endless desires that cannot be fulfilled in their short lives. Limitations from resources, time and then the 3rd law of thermodynamics (opportunity cost of doing anything -work- creates entropy) plus unknowns about the future will challenge our self efficacy and potential. The struggle is perceived and experienced. We see good as luck and accident

  • Ricardo
    Ricardo 4 months ago

    I realized this while meditating that seeing the positive in life was hard work and thinking negative was just effortless. I thought there was something wrong with me in a sense. Thank you for bringing clarity over this.

  • Maria
    Maria 4 months ago

    I really thank your instructive and useful talk for me.

  • Paris Vinuya
    Paris Vinuya 4 months ago

    Thank YOU. You are an actual legend 🙏🏻 🙏🏻.

  • Suki Ha
    Suki Ha 4 months ago

    Inspiring speech. What i wanted to hear

  • Muhhammad Monir
    Muhhammad Monir 5 months ago

    at 7 minutes i was about to comment " you are cute,i love you"
    and then at 8:18 you said "my husband !!!""""

  • Big Daddy
    Big Daddy 5 months ago

    Let's all give each other a good pat in the back. We are all badass and we are all going to have an amazing week!

  • Kat Rivers
    Kat Rivers 5 months ago

    I'd bet you $20. these statistics match the neg to pos TV output.

  • The Truth
    The Truth 5 months ago +1

    Someone snaps at me and I wonder what's wrong with them aha

  • Chi Man Chiu
    Chi Man Chiu 5 months ago

    thx i will try to be more positive

  • alyssa hinderscheid
    alyssa hinderscheid 5 months ago

    WHAT AN inspiring talk!!!!

  • The AsTrollmech
    The AsTrollmech 5 months ago

    So basically, "just stop being negative"

  • Safiya
    Safiya 5 months ago

    Thank you for this.

  • lila 123456789
    lila 123456789 5 months ago

    Dont overthink. Dont think negatively. Im very very serious about looking for you when the time is right. Even if im really unsure about how i will do that, I wont be able to take it knowing that i wont be able to find you (when the right time comes). So please dont let negative thoughts.
    I mean them.
    cyber hugs for you.

  • Anna Maledon Children's Author

    Can I send my husband to your husband for training?

  • MadJack
    MadJack 5 months ago +1

    “Work to see the upside”

  • stap0290
    stap0290 5 months ago

    Me to my mom: is the Glass of water half full, or half empty?
    My Indian mom: These glasses are for guests, use the stainless steel one for yourself.

  • Rae K
    Rae K 5 months ago


  • Jimmy The Human
    Jimmy The Human 5 months ago

    I wouldn't mind leaving you an extra large tip