Are people inherently pessimists?

By now, you’ve read about Jennifer Wilkins, whose picture has been plastered on every news service in the U.S. because she was presumed abducted. Searches were conducted, posters had been posted, and a reward was offered.

The truth is more pedestrian: after eight — eight — wedding showers, she was having doubts about the impending, lavish ceremony. She cut her hair and split for Albuquerque. After meandering around, broke, she called home, initially claiming to have been kidnapped. Since fessing up, all of her public appearances have shown her wearing a towel over her head.

Many of the people who had joined in the escalating concern for her well-being reacted with levels of emotion spanning disappointment and anger. There have also been suggestions of legal action against the woman. Like she needs her stress level ratcheted up further.

Do we inherently feed on bad news?

4 thoughts on “Are people inherently pessimists?”

  1. Couple of things. This wasn’t a runaway bride- this gal suffered a mental breakdown. She didn’t eat or shower for three days- doesn’t quite sound like the quasi-romantic tale most people pretend it is.

    Second, you have to have knowledge of the world to be pessimistic. In other words, most people are too dumb to be pessimists.

  2. It’s hardly romantic. But I am wondering why it seems easier for people to think she’s been kidnapped/killed versus having a mental breakdown. (I often shave with Occam’s Razor)

  3. Her secret boyfriend

    Occam tells me she just ran away to vegas with a boyfriend to have her last bash, ran out of money, the boyfriend dumped her, then she faked the kidnappping when she saw herself on tv the last night before checking out of bellagio.

    Or, do you really think that Vegas is the first place that comes to mind if you are having mental problems or cold feet?

    From Georgia to Florida or South Carolina, but VEGAS ???

    Come on!

  4. That’s an interesting theory, but I’m not sure Occam would be swayed by its complexity.

    Perhaps she wanted to see volcanoes, dueling ships, a pyramid, and New York on a shoewstring?

    Personally, if I wanted to get away, I’d head up north to British Columbia, but it’s relatively close to me.

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