[Paleopsych] Positive emotions

Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. ljohnson at solution-consulting.com
Sun Mar 6 01:25:56 UTC 2005

Lately we have had some discussion about positive emotions (left frontal 
lobe activity) vs. negative emotions (limbic system activity). 
Fredrickson argues here (and elsewhere) that the positive spectrum of 
emotions is related to broader intellect, and the negative ones with a 
constricted intellect. Here is a very important article on this topic, 
or at least the abstract. If anyone wants a PDF of this, I can provide it.

American Psychologist 	© 2001 by the American Psychological Association 
March 2001 Vol. 56,  No. 3,  218-226 	For personal use only--not for 

      The Role of Positive Emotions in Positive Psychology
      The Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions

Barbara L. Fredrickson
Department of Psychology, University of Michigan
Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Institute for Social 
Research, University of Michigan


    In this article, the author describes a new theoretical perspective
    on positive emotions and situates this new perspective within the
    emerging field of positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory
    posits that experiences of positive emotions broaden people's
    momentary thought-action repertoires, which in turn serves to build
    their enduring personal resources, ranging from physical and
    intellectual resources to social and psychological resources.
    Preliminary empirical evidence supporting the broaden-and-build
    theory is reviewed, and open empirical questions that remain to be
    tested are identified. The theory and findings suggest that the
    capacity to experience positive emotions may be a fundamental human
    strength central to the study of human flourishing.

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