Barbara Fredrickson

Faculty Affiliate, Center for Positive Organizations

Kenan Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD, is the Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC she also directs the Social Psychology Doctoral Program and the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory.

Fredrickson is most known for her “broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions,” foundational within Positive Psychology for providing a blueprint for how pleasant emotional states, as fleeting as they are, contribute to resilience, wellbeing, and health. She has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and her general audience books, Positivity (2009, and Love 2.0 (2013, have been translated into dozens of languages. Among the most highly cited scholars, she was recently identified as in the top 0.01% of scientists (across 22 scientific fields) in terms of career-long scholarly impact. Her ideas have influenced scholars and practitioners worldwide, and in 2017, she was honored with the Tang Prize for Achievements in Psychology, awarded to recognize exceptional career contributions to the well-being of humanity.