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What Do You Know about Being Happy? The Positive Psychology Quiz

What Do You Know about Being Happy? The Positive Psychology QuizIt would be hard to open a popular magazine or psychology journal these days without finding some reference to a new advance in positive psychology. 

The research is pouring in from all over the globe indicating that sustainable ways to shift our thinking and perception toward a more optimistic perspective of life has amazing health and well-being benefits — not the least of which include a longer, healthier, and more productive life.

Here are six questions about some of the findings that may intrigue you and test your knowledge. The good news?  You can’t fail a positive psychology quiz!  Use this as a guide to learn more about the developing field. Or, if you got them all right, you know how good it is to be kind — so get out there and help someone!

Negative thoughts are more powerful than positive thoughts.

1.  True or false?  Negative thoughts are more powerful than positive thoughts.

A: True

Barbara Fredrickson’s (2009) work on positivity created a way of measuring internal dynamics by using a Losada ratio, a measure of positive to negative thoughts. She found a ratio of 3 to 1 seems to be a tipping point of sorts for positivity.   In other words, we need three positive thoughts to counteract the effect of one negative thought.

Proof Positive

This is the equivalent of the discovery that we have good and bad cholesterol, HDL and LDL, and that the ratio between the two determines cardiovascular health.  We need more positive than negative thoughts in the same way we need more HDL, the good cholesterol, than LDL.  You can assess your current ratio at her website.

What Do You Know about Being Happy? The Positive Psychology Quiz


Daniel Tomasulo, Ph.D.

Honored by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers on the issue of depression Dr. Dan Tomasulo, Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP is a core faculty member at the Spirituality Mind Body Institute (SMBI), Teachers College, Columbia University, and holds a Ph.D. in psychology, MFA in writing, and Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

He authors the daily column, Ask the Therapist, for PsychCentral.com, and developed the Dare to be Happy experiential workshops for Kripalu.   His award-winning memoir, American Snake Pit was released in 2018, and his next book, Learned Hopefulness, The Power of Positivity To Overcome Depressionis hailed as: “…the perfect recipe for fulfillment, joy, peace, and expansion of awareness.”  by Deepak Chopra, MD: Author of Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential.

Learn more about Dr. Dan at his website.


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APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). What Do You Know about Being Happy? The Positive Psychology Quiz. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-do-you-know-about-being-happy-the-positive-psychology-quiz/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 5 May 2012)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.