Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive
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World renowned researcher Dr. Barbara Fredrickson gives you the lab-tested tools necessary to create a healthier, more vibrant, and flourishing life through a process she calls "the upward spiral." You’ll discover:
•What positivity is, and why it needs to be heartfelt to be effective • The ten sometimes surprising forms of positivity • Why positivity is more important than happiness • How positivity can enhance relationships, work, and health, and how it relieves depression, broadens minds, and builds lives • The top-notch research that backs the 3-to-1 "positivity ratio" as a key tipping point • That your own sources of positivity are unique and how to tap into them • How to calculate your current positivity ratio, track it, and improve it
With Positivity, you’ll learn to see new possibilities, bounce back from setbacks, connect with others, and become the best version of yourself.
Positively stellar! Fredrickson shares the story and heart of positive psychology Barbara Fredrickson's Positivity shares the story and heart of our emerging health and well being research. Everyday can be better - emotionally, mindfully, and through our actions. Excellent for anyone wanting to understand just what quality research is saying and a must read for all parents. Raising positive Can-Do children comes from the top down...start by becomming more of who you can be as a person --positively. ...more info
"I'm insane, but it's okay, I'm the happy kind" Wally, in Dilbert Doesn't anyone edit books anymore?
The premise of the book is fine. The exercises are tedious, but okay.
The first two thirds of the book is convincing us that positive is better than negative. (Attitude, not scientific hypothesis testing, where positive gets us into trouble.)
If you have to convince someone of that, they aren't likely to read the book, much less go through the exercises.
So, it either gets purchased by the already upbeat, or far worse, gets purchased by those chipper types who give it to their morose friends as gifts, "Here, you should read this, party-pooper."
My main gripe is it takes way too long to get where she's going, which seems to be a chronic problem in the self help business. Of course, the books aren't actually supposed to do anything but give the author cred for expensive speaking engagements or corporate training gigs.
I'm positivity convinced of that.
"Start your day with a smile, and get it over with."
How can I not be positive about a book on positivity? Already quite familiar with the work of Dr. Fredrickson, there were no a-ha moments in the book. Still, I strongly recommend this book for those people who are struggling to achieve greater positivity in their life. Dr. Fredrickson writes openly about her own life experiences, makes abstract concepts concrete and easy to understand, and does a good job of summarizing a growing body of research in positive psychology. Dr. Fredrickson eagerly recommends mindfulness training and cognitive-behavioral strategies as effective means for increasing one's positivity ratio to a healthy 3:1 (or 2.9013:1 to be precise). She also recommends the typical cadre of interventions used by most evidence-based counselors and psychologists. ...more info
Very Balanced! Fredrickson's (2009) new book (Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive) is written for the general public, yet conveys much of the influential research she and others have contributed to positive psychology. "Positivity" includes joy, gratitude (including reciprocity), serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement (humor), inspiration, awe ("goodness on a grand scale"), and love. Unlike mainstream positive psychology, the book also emphasizes social connectedness ("we" rather than "me"), peace, compassion, and prosocial behavior (including loving-kindness meditation). Her review of her former student Losada's work with high-performing business teams was very reminiscent of "servant leadership". There is an extended discussion of the "positivity ratio" (and the advantages at least three positive emotions for every negative emotion, but no more than eleven to one), and techniques for reducing negativity. Fredrickson also devotes considerable attention to techniques for increasing positivity (including savoring, finding positive meaning, gratitude, kindness, hope, flow experiences, connecting with others, mindfulness, developing distractions, and positivity portfolios). There is also an interesting discussion of being outdoors and connecting with nature, which was reminiscent of our recent research relating serenity to time spent outdoors. All told, I was very impressed with this book.
Positivity The author posits the proposition that positive
thinking can transform our personal future(s).
People with positive emotions may live longer
and be more receptive to new and unique ideas.
When the mind expands, psychological strengths
and social interactions are enhanced.
Positivity has many manifestations; such as,
Lastly, positivity tends to be a non-linear
phenomenon with increases or decreases
spanning geometric multiples, step functions
or curvilinear planes.
The book would be helpful in transitioning a
person from a depressive state to a more
cheerful state of mind. If the work accomplishes
such an objective, the author has made a significant
contribution to individual mindsets.
The How to Book for the Good Life The book is a guide to increasing the balance of all that is good in life. Backed up by the author's own research, it first makes the case of why positive emotions matter and then offers clear steps which will allow anyone to experience more joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love....more info
Positivity and Team Performance I've followed Barbara Frederickson's work for years and have been interested in how well it integrates with principles from the organizational development field of Appreciative Inquiry. As an executive coach, I work with individuals and teams to create better leadership and engagement in the workplace. This research, and Dr. Frederickson's easily accessible style, goes far to helping people in scientific and technical organizations see the merits of positivity, especially in creating a positive team culture leading to high performance. It supports why "touchy feely" teambuilding is important.
The research on the "positivity ratio" and Frederickson's theory of "Broaden and Build" is essential for team learning and growth, and is critical to the nurturing of creativity and innovation. I am inspired by this work and feel that every coach who is interested in developing people to their highest potential should read it.
G. Lee Salmon
Learning for Living...more info
Some quality info, but unimpressive overall Don't get me wrong, the author has certainly conducted some noteworthy research, but her book comes across more as a self-congratulatory piece of writing than a truly informative work. She spends a whole lot of time explaining what she is going to explain in future chapters and recapping what she has already said. Her explanations of the various studies that have been conducted in this area were shallow and incomplete. From the perspective of someone who studies psychology full-time, I was unimpressed by the book. However, if you're looking for something "self-helpish," this will probably be a good read for you. ...more info
Life Changing I read this book a couple of months ago and have been listening to the Audio CD daily (both rented from my library). For me, the scientific section was interesting and was a good lead-in to the "self-help" section. I am naturally a pessimistic/negative-reacting person and after reading and listening to this book on positivity, I am slowly changing into a more positive, upbeat, joy-filled person. I am able to work through negative situations rather quickly and have changed some painful memories into good ones with helpful suggestions in the second section. This, for me, has been a life-changing book. It really helped to listen to it, too, and I was surprised at how much I had missed the first time through by just reading the book. While driving, I listen to the CD's and rewind (and rewind and rewind) when a section "speaks" to me. I want to "re-wire" my brain towards positivity!
Another book I'd recommend is J. Kelm's "Joy of Appreciative Living".
"Positivity" living is thriving, flourishing, appreciative living. It's looking for what's good and what's right in each person and situation.
And there always IS something good/right in each person and circumstance...you just have to have the "eyes to see" the gift. The book helps you find it. Positivity is not denying the negative, it's looking for the lesson or opportunity in each situation.
If you tend towards negativity and pessimism, I highly recommend this book.
Life is hard...find the good in it, so that you may enjoy what you do have....more info
Positivity is a wise choice Barbara Fredrickson, Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina, and a pioneer of positive psychology, specializes in research on positive emotions and human flourishing. She is best-known for her so-called broaden-and build theory of positive emotions.
This book describes in an accessible and captivating way what the research by her and her colleagues has taught her about what positivity is and what is does. In her explanation of what positivity is, she mentions ten forms of positivity: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love. As to what positivity does, maybe it is best to start with six facts she mentions about positivity: 1) positivity feels good, 2) positivity changes how your mind works, 3) positivity transforms your future, 4) positivity puts the brakes on negativity, 5) positivity obeys a tipping point, 6) you can increase your positivity. A briefer way of describing what positivity amounts to is that it opens your mind and helps you get on a positive trajectory, an upward spiral. In other words: it makes you flourish. Flourishing is more than being happy. In Barbara Fredrickson's words: "Flourishing goes beyond happiness, or satisfaction with life. True, people who flourish are happy. But that's not the half of it. Beyond feeling good, they're also doing good -adding value to the world. People who flourish are highly engaged with their families, work, and communities."
But that is not the whole story. The effects of positivity are not simple and linear. Rather, they are subtle and non-linear. Human flourishing works like a nonlinear dynamic system. In nonlinear systems, there are one or more tipping points at which the properties of the system can suddenly change dramatically. An example of such a non-linear system with a tipping point is how ice melts at zero degrees Celsius. Consultant and researcher Marcial Losada has helped Barbara Fredrickson uncover a tipping point in the positivity ratio. The positivity ratio is the ratio of people's experiences of positive to negative emotions. Fredrickson's and Losada's research show that there is a tipping point above which flourishing starts and below which it doesn't. This positivity ratio tipping point is 3-1. When there are three times or more as many positive experiences than negative ones, flourishing will start with all of its beneficial consequences. There also turns out to be a second tipping point, by the way, of 11-1, which is the upper bound of flourishing. Above this upper bound it seems that there is too much positivity. In other words, there will always remain a useful role for some negativity. Fredrickson has found that most people have more positive than negative experiences but are below the 3-1 tipping point. Fortunately, there are many known ways to raise your positivity (many of them are described in the book) so that flourishing is attainable for anyone.
I can hardly say how impressed I am with this book. This book presents the best that positive psychology has to offer. The writing is very clear and pleasant. At the same time, everything that is being written is linked to scientific findings (which are mentioned explicitly). My suggestion is: do yourself a favor and buy yourself this book.
A very important book for the 80% of us who are languishing I just finished Barbara Fredrickson's Positivity. I thought it was an excellent book. It will be interesting to see in a year how the book continues to affect me. I think it will have changed my view of human nature and my view of the nature of depression. She is able to write a whole book on positive emotions from her research, her labs research, and her student's research. It is a pretty amazing what she's done in twenty years.
The first half of the book is about her research on positive emotions and the second half is on how to apply this research to raise your positivity ratio, the ratio of positive to negative emotions during a period of time. She has discovered that there is a non-linear relationship between the ratio and the positive effects of broaden, build and resilience. The effects don't really kick in until there is a 3 to 1 ratio between positive and negative emotions. Until then you don't really begin to "spiral upwards".
The book highlighted for me how much the field of psychotherapy has done a good job in teaching us how to reduce negative emotions and how poorly how to increase positive emotions.
My positivity ratio was very high while reading the book--very high levels of awe, amazement, appreciation, inspiration, interest, curiosity and hope. Particularly, appreciation of Barbara Fredrickson for the work she's done.
When I was in my early twenties (in the early sixties), I believed that happy people were shallow, naive, and insensitive. In fact, I think everybody I knew thought this way. I think it took all this research for me to really accept and appreciate the role of positive emotions.
Speaking as an unhappy person, reading this book has, for the first time in my life, given me a true idea of the enormity of the task of a chronically unhappy person becoming a happy person. But she also does a good job of showing us how to get there if we are willing to do the work. It certainly is a lot of work; she uses the metaphor of changing the path of a river, implying that the task is never ends. ...more info
Psychology for Life Change Frederickson's Positivity introduces readers to a set of practices that have often been associated with alternative offerings and even woo-woo. She's not a rah-rah cheerleader; in fact, she specifically warns against trying to force a change in feelings. She simply demonstrates what works and why.
The best parts of the book were the reports on specific experiments - the forte of academic psychology - and the specific how-to measures. I especially like the suggestion to develop portfolios relating to pride just before job interviews. I'd have liked to see more detail on constructing portfolios. It's not clear how they differ from vision boards.
The chapter on negativity was particularly helpful. I love the notion of a news fast. I appreciate suggestions to find substitutes for gossip and sarcasm and reviewing a day for "land mines." I'm not sure the suggestions for dealing with difficult people will be workable in all situations; sometimes you simply have to get away from them.
I also liked the stories of change, especially Nina's story in Chapter 5. In just three months of guided meditation, Nina's life transformed. And I like the idea of dreaming about the future as a way to gain more resilience and strength.
On the other hand, I'm afraid I didn't have the patience to calculate positivity ratios. Some examples would have been helpful.
Ultimately, while I admire the author's scholarly orientation, I couldn't help wondering, "What's new?" Earlier research on mood found that mood changes produced many effects described by positivity. I once heard a talk by Alice Isen, where she showed that decision processes changed along with mood. Mood changes could be induced experimentally by something as simple as a miniature chocolate bar.
We've also seen considerably research about meditation going back thirty or so years to the TM program. I've read studies (can't remember the source) showing that people remember their own life histories differently when they're primed for positive or negative emotion.
Is positivity an umbrella concept that integrates many of these diverse findings? Or is it a totally new concept that differs from what's already appeared? Most readers probably won't care. They'll just benefit considerably from reading this book.
one of the best positive psych books on the market I have read at least two dozen books on the science of positive psychology. Dr. Fredrickson has taken it to another level by simplifying the findings and how they are applicable to each and every one of us. It is an incredibly compelling argument for introducing more positivity into your life. If you are a self-help fanatic (like me) or someone that keeps up with positive psychology, this is a must-have....more info
Do Not Recommend for People With Serious Problems Dear Friends: I am somewhat disappointed with this book. The author is clearly a very brilliant scholar in her field, and writes clearly and in an interesting manner.
But she is more focused on how her scientific studies and those of her colleagues provided some of the first testable scientific evidence for the value of increasing one's positive emotions than she is in presenting how the results of those studies can be implemented by people with serious life problems seeking to increase their "positivity."
Some of her techniques involve going to her website, recording daily monitoring of one's emotions, and voluntering to add the reader's results to her database. That's a clever way to find new study volunteers, but not what I'd expect in a self-help book.
Her recommendations for troubled seekers are surprisingly few and bland, given the intense, in-depth amount of research she has clearly done in this field. The book also needed a stronger editor, as there is much repetition of material.
I was also surprised by her showcasing of certain Buddhist techniques that can be used to increase "positivity" with any acknowledgement that similar or identical techniques exist in other religions and spiritualities, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. She appeared unaware that the common elements of mysticism and meditation are not confined to Buddhism.
In addition, the examples given in the book of people benefiting from its principles are largely of happily married people with children where everything turned out well for them when they implemented the very few "positivity" techniques that the author suggests
I wondered -- what about the people who implemented these "positivity" techniques, but still had to deal with unfortunate outcomes? Why was no one in her examples single, divorced, widowed, elderly, physically and emotionally disabled, or a teenager?
It seemed that everyone who implemented her principles -- always successfully -- was a happily married academic between the ages of 25 to 60. Where was the rest of the population?
This emphasis on a very narrow segment of the U.S. population caused me to question the value of her book for the rest of us.
The book did spark my interest in "positivity," positive thinking, and the field of positive psychology, and I have gone ahead to purchase other books about it....more info
Positivity at its best I had the joy to collaborate with Barbara Fredrickson in finding and testing the minimum positivity ratio that would lead to flourish. As I read her recollection of the story of our discovery of the 3:1 ratio (2.9013 to be precise) I relived those intense moments of scientific insights into the deep nature of positivity. Barbara has at least two rare talents: First, she is s top notch researcher who doesn't settle for anything less than what's at the frontier of science and, second, she has a heart that beats with the same intensity and passion when it comes to bringing this knowledge to everyone. Not many are capable of straying away from academic circles and have something to say that would literally touch people's hearts.
This is not your run-of-the-mill book on positivity. This one will guarantee that you start walking on the road to flourishing if you follow her advice. Not an easy road to walk, but the road that leads to languishing will, in the end, take your life away. If you are tired of walking this lifeless road, this book offers you the best alternative.
Dr. Marcial F. Losada
Meta Learning Consulting