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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.

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.


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APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). What Do You Know about Being Happy? The Positive Psychology Quiz. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 26, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-do-you-know-about-being-happy-the-positive-psychology-quiz/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.