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Positivity: Groundbreaking Research to Release Your Inner Optimist and Thrive [Paperback]

Barbara Fredrickson
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

1 Jan 2011
One of the leading members of the positive psychology movement draws on cutting-edge research and lab-tested tools to explain:
• Why positivity is more important than happiness
• How it relieves depression, broadens minds, and builds lives
• How to tap into your own sources of positivity
With Positivity, you’ll learn to see new possibilities, bounce back from setbacks, connect with others, and become the best version of yourself.

Frequently Bought Together

Positivity: Groundbreaking Research to Release Your Inner Optimist and Thrive + The How Of Happiness: A Practical Guide to Getting The Life You Want + Flourish: A New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being - and How To Achieve Them
Price For All Three: £27.37

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (1 Jan 2011)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1851687904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851687909
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Positive psychology pioneer Fredrickson introduces readers to the power of harnessing happiness to transform their lives, backed up by impressive lab research ... Her arguments and additional online resources (www.positivityratio.com) offer readers a chance to experiment with positivity and very possibly lead richer lives." (Publishers Weekly)

"Fredrickson, one of the pioneers of [positive psychology] knows her stuff. She is a sure-footed and compassionate guide to [this field's] many findings. Indeed, the best nuggets stem from [her] own work into what she calls the 'broaden-and-build theory'." (Washington Post)

Positive psychology was introduced as a concept about ten years ago by Martin Seligman; the field studies topics like happiness, satisfaction, and hope. Fredrickson (psychology, Univ. of North Carolina), who has spent her career studying positive emotions, has written a self-help book instructing readers how to put positivity into their lives. She describes how this will unlock their creativity, improve their ability to savor the world's pleasures, and increase satisfaction with their lives and relationships. Fredrickson pinpoints a three-to-one ratio of positive to negative emotions as the key to maximum achievement. She lists ten forms of positivity and helps readers calculate and track their positivity ratios. A few strong sections feature useful advice in this rather frothy but entertaining self-help work. Readers looking for a more scholarly but readable book on positive psychology will enjoy Daniel Nettle's Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile. Suitable for public libraries with large self-help collections. (Library Journal)


"Written by one of the most influential contributors to this new perspective in science, Positivity provides a wonderful synthesis of what positive psychology has accomplished in the first decade of its existence. It is full of deep insights about human behavior as well as useful suggestions for how to apply them in everyday life." (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - author of Flow)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Positivity is a wise choice 8 May 2009
Barbara Frederickson, 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 Frederickson'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.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Me, myself and I, the great scholar 17 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book (pub 2009) immediately after Seligman's "Authentic Happiness" (pub 2003) because Fredrickson is widely as a leading contributor in the field of positive psychology. Yet despite all my positive expectations, I must say that this particular book is a huge let-down and vastly inferior to Seligman's work.

As my review title indicates, this book is littered with personal anecdotes and self-congratulation as a scholar, wife and mother. While anecdotes are routine tools in the self-help literature used to bring home a difficult point to a non-expert reader, in Fredrickson's case it appears to be merely an opportunity for more self-revelation which does not add anything to our understanding of the theory under discussion. It only underlines once more the fact that she gained a lot of notoriety early on in an emerging field.

Even worse is the constant name-dropping about 'my brilliant doctoral student' who is now so-and-son at university X or Y. Please! Just quote the experiment without all the reflected glory of having participated in training the researcher. Similarly, the repeated mentions of grants received and awards from foundations leave the reader feeling nauseous. Please, just report the work and its results without all the personal aggrandizement.

Leaving aside the distasteful tone of this book, much of the theory tested in the many experiments reported is NOT NEW. Any innovation lies in regarding the results with a different eye related, of course, to positivity. Thus, for example, the discussion about a colleague's exploration of business teams' social interactions in ch. 7 is described without any acknowledgement of the fact that Interaction Process Analysis (IPA) was developed and published by Bales in 1950.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
By diko
I have been depressed for last 3-4 years. I was seeing a pshycologyst for 5-6 monhts (he was amazing but the therapy did not really meat my expectations (I am more like "know the logic of the problem and solve it" person) I read so many overcoming etc books. However Dr. Fredickson's book was the most helpful thing with my depression, negativity, rumination.
I really hope Dr. Fredickson would see this review and know that I am so grateful that she wrote this book. I used to daydream everyday for hours, living in a world that did not exists. I used to cry every night, ruminate every morning! After reading the "positivity book" I started to meditate and my daydreams has stopped. I live the moment better and appreciate the world around me so much more. Also my rumination is so much less now. I am going to read the book one more time.

Thank you so much for writing a book with your heart Dr. Fredickson. It felt like I was listening a friend. I wish you every sucsess in your life.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring positive psychology book 28 July 2010
I found the book very inspiring. I found I could apply the techniques to increase my positivity and decrease my negativity very easily.

What I like about the book is that the positivity that you might increase is genuine. I've read positive thinking books in the past and felt that they were more about acting positive rather than feeling positive.

The only criticism of the book is that I found too much of the book was on defining positivity and discussing the benefits of feeling positive. It's a small criticism and other people might find that much detail useful.

Screw Work, Let's Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for it
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is rubbish, and any serious readers should ...
This book is rubbish, and any serious readers should look at the row that went on behind the scenes but at the highest levels of American academia about this author's fake research... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sorrowful investigator
5.0 out of 5 stars Even reading the book creates positivity
I was thoroughly impressed by this book and how motivated I was to come back to it again and again, because even the experience of reading it seemed to boost positive emotions... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand
Focuses more on explaining the research than on how to implement its findings. Easy to follow though but a bit repetitive.
Published 13 months ago by Mollie
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading
Even if you don"t usually read self help,books, make,this an exception. Well written with robust research behind it, just writing this book will make a positive difference to... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Catherine
5.0 out of 5 stars Positive about positivity
An excellent book, which really highlights positivity in a real way. Loving the contents, recommending it to my students. David Rawcliffe
Published 21 months ago by A. Rawcliffe
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book
I think this book is just the right balance between self help and scientific and is a very easy read.
Published 23 months ago by jusali
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This is a wonderful, life supporting book.
A good opportunity to bring positivity into your life.
Thank you!
Published on 3 April 2011 by Sigrun Sveinsdottir
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting take on an old subject
Reading this book reminded me of another book, Siblings Without Rivalry by Faber and Mazlish ... the similarity being pearls of wisdom dressed in a very American style of writing. Read more
Published on 16 Nov 2010 by Benaifer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
this is really groundbreaking. In response to the negative comment: enhancing your positive emotions is hard work, but so is exercising your muscles. Read more
Published on 14 May 2010 by Smiley Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking book on positivity
This is an extremely important book, one of the most life-enriching to come out in human sciences in quite some time. Read more
Published on 10 April 2010 by E. Saarinen
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