College Algebra (6th Edition)

$-16$
An exponential expression has a base (the bottom) and an exponent (the top). The exponent indicates how many factors of the base are multiplied together. When the exponent is even, the solution will be positive, even if you start with a negative base. However, in this problem, the base is 2; the negative sign is not part of the base because it is not included in parentheses. $-2^{4}$ $=-(2\times2\times2\times2)$ $=-(4\times2\times2)$ $=-(8\times2)$ $=-16$