Barbara Fredrickson discusses positive emotions on New Books Network podcast

September 28, 2021

Barb Fredrickson

Barb Fredrickson

Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) faculty affiliate Barbara Fredrickson is featured in the New Books Network podcast episode “The Science of Emotions.”

Fredrickson speaks with Ideas Roadshow founder Howard Burton in a wide-ranging interview that explores her research on positive emotions. The conversation kicks off with an exploration of positive emotions’ evolutionary purpose. It then moves into a more practical realm, examining the benefits of cultivating positive emotions and how to do so.

“We’ve found that, yes, people can increase their positive emotions — not in a whopping way. Again, it’s just a subtle upward shift in everyday, mild positive emotions. That’s what people can create in their lives,” Fredrickson says. “That subtle shift leads to changes in resilience, resourcefulness, cardiovascular health, immune health. It doesn’t have to be a whopping change. People aren’t going from the most dour person in the world to the happiest go lucky person in the world. It’s like a slightly more upbeat, uplifted, cheerful version of oneself.”

Fredrickson is the Kenan Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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