Every so often, you encounter academic research that snaps into place a whole bunch of tensions, issues, and problems that you’ve noticed but haven’t been able to understand. That happened to me when I read a new book called The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It. The authors of the book, renowned research psychologist Roy F. Baumeister and award-winning journalist John Tierney, offer lessons from social science about life, love, parenting, even politics.

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