Barbara Fredrickson

Most Influential Person

American psychology professor

Why Is Barbara Fredrickson Influential?

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Barbara Fredrickson currently holds the title of Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is the director of the social psychology program. Additionally, she is on the faculty of the Authentic Happiness program at the University of Pennsylvania, Director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory, and President of the International Positive Psychology Association. Previously, she held positions at Duke University and the University of Michigan. Fredrickson completed her undergraduate studies at Carleton College, and earned her Ph.D. at Stanford in 1990.

Fredrickson is known for her work in the area of positive psychology. In particular, she is recognized for her broaden-and-build theory of emotion, arguing that emotional states signal both psychological and physiological changes in individuals, with an evolutionary significance. Along these lines, Fredrickson argues, positive emotions aren’t superficial, but are in fact crucial to our survival; feeling good emotionally is actually healthy in a physical sense. Fredrickson’s popular book, Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3-to-1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life, provides practical application tips for living a positive life. Other works from Fredrickson include, Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection.

For her work, Fredrickson has received awards including the Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology from the American Psychological Association, the Career Trajectory Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Christopher Peterson Gold Medal.

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According to Wikipedia, Barbara Lee Fredrickson is an American professor in the department of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology. She is also the Principal Investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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