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