Living with Positivity: an Interview with Dr. Barbara Fredrickson

barbara fredrickson

Have you ever wondered why the world seems more expansive and open when you're in a good mood, and why your circumstances seem so narrow when you're feeling down? How can you nurture the good feelings so they last longer and have more powerful effects on your life?

Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a leading scholar in the area of positive psychology and the author of the book Positivity, can answer those questions. Her "broaden-and-build" theory explains why positive emotions change your perspective on life and how they can help you accrue valuable emotional resources, such as resilience and mindfulness. She has also found, through over twenty years of research, that individuals need to keep a certain ratio of positive emotions to negative ones in order to flourish. Dr. Fredrickson's research has been featured in USA Today, Oprah Magazine, and the New York Times, among others. She has also caught the attention of the Dalai Lama, who invited Fredrickson to brief him on her research.

Watch the interview with Dr. Fredrickson below to learn more about her work and how positive emotions can affect your health and your life.  Note: In this interview conducted a few years ago, Dr. Fredrickson talks about the 3 to 1 ratio.  The mathematical model behind that claim has been challenged and Fredrickson and Losada have retracted that portion of their seminal article.  Fredrickson states however, that "ample evidence continues to support the conclusion that, within bounds, higher positivity ratios are predictive of flourishing mental health and other beneficial outcomes."