According to a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, there is some truth in the saying, "ignorance is bliss." People who are unaware of critical problems facing the world today prefer it that way, and may be avoiding the bad news.

In one study regarding the effect of economic turbulence on personal finances, the more acutely the subjects felt the pain, the less they wanted to know about what the government was doing to manage the economy. This puts personal power aside and creates a dependency on others to handle the tough stuff.

Another example cited is that Americans have actively avoided news about resource depletion - in this case, oil reserves dropping - as if they would rather put their heads in the sand and ignore the subject rather than face the challenge. This perpetuates an "ignorance cycle."

With a 24 hour news cycle and the prevalence of social media, people often talk about media overload. However, if we choose to ignore the hard truths and only accept news that we find comforting or non-threatening, we are becoming consciously ignorant. An informed population is a strong, vibrant and resilient one. Avoiding tough news may be a normal reaction, but it's not a productive one.