In order to investigate the stability of magneto-rheological fluid based squeeze film damper (MR-SFD), its negative stiffness effect, which arises from magnetization of MR-SFD, is identified theoretically and experimentally. The analytical model of MR-SFD includes the magnetic circuit as well as the displacement stiffness associated with the squeeze mode of MRF. Extensive experiments are carried out to measure the magnetic attraction forces generated in the MR-SFD, with the excitation frequency and the eccentricity of the journal varied, which are controlled by an active magnetic bearing. The simulation and experimental results are found to be in good agreement. It is concluded that the negative stiffness effect dominates only in the low frequency region because its effect diminishes in the high frequency region due to the eddy-current loss.