Barbara Fredrickson

You know that saying ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’? That’s so true of positive psychology. Our latest research tells us that the pursuit of happiness is a delicate art. Certain approaches to seeking happiness are now known to backfire, whereas others are effective.

“You know that saying ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’? That’s so true of positive psychology. Our latest research tells us that the pursuit … Read More

Taking delight in my family, my time in nature, and in the chance to do work that I find endlessly fascinating and rewarding. My smile grows even bigger when I think about how lucky I am to have such delights be part of my everyday life.

“Taking delight in my family, my time in nature, and in the chance to do work that I find endlessly fascinating and rewarding. My smile … Read More

I began studying human emotions more than twenty years ago. At that time, almost every scientist working in this area was studying one of the negative emotions, like fear, anger, anxiety, or depression. I wondered why no scientists cared to explain why we humans sometimes feel upbeat and pleasant. I liked the idea of charting new terrain. It’s been a fun intellectual puzzle. There’s so much to discover!

“I began studying human emotions more than twenty years ago. At that time, almost every scientist working in this area was studying one of the … Read More

Love is a momentary upwelling of three tightly interwoven events: First, a sharing of one or more positive emotions between you and another; second, a synchrony between your and the other person’s biochemistry and behaviors; and third, a reflected motive to invest in each other’s well-being that brings mutual care

“Love is a momentary upwelling of three tightly interwoven events: First, a sharing of one or more positive emotions between you and another; second, a … Read More

My all-time favorite topic in positive psychology is the study of positive emotions. I’m fascinated by how pleasant experiences, which can be so subtle and fleeting, can add up over time to change who we become. I’m especially excited these days about investigating how positive emotions change the very ways that our cells form and function to keep us healthy.

“My all-time favorite topic in positive psychology is the study of positive emotions. I’m fascinated by how pleasant experiences, which can be so subtle and … Read More

The boundaries between you and not-you — what lies beyond your skin — relax and become more permeable. While infused with love you see fewer distinctions between you and others. Indeed, your ability to see others — really see them, wholeheartedly — springs open.

“The boundaries between you and not-you — what lies beyond your skin — relax and become more permeable. While infused with love you see fewer … Read More

Positivity psychology is part and parcel of psychology. Being human includes both ups and downs, opportunities and challenges. Positive psychology devotes somewhat more attention to the ups and the opportunities, whereas traditional psychology – at least historically – has paid more attention to the downs.

“Positivity psychology is part and parcel of psychology. Being human includes both ups and downs, opportunities and challenges. Positive psychology devotes somewhat more attention to … Read More

Positive thinking is just one small part of positive psychology. Plus, as an approach to well-being, positive thinking only helps you to the extent that it yields one or more positive emotions. The problem with positive thinking is that it sometimes just stays up “in the head” and fails to drip down to become a fully embodied experience.

“Positive thinking is just one small part of positive psychology. Plus, as an approach to well-being, positive thinking only helps you to the extent that … Read More