Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. earned her undergraduate degree from Carleton College and her doctorate from Stanford University. She is currently Kenan Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with appointments in Psychology and the Kenan-Flagler School of Business. She is also Director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory (a.k.a., PEP Lab).
Fredrickson is a leading scholar within social psychology, affective science, and positive psychology, and has received more than 16 consecutive years of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Her research and teaching have been recognized with numerous honors, including, in 2000, the American Psychological Association's inaugural Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology, in 2008, the Society for Experimental Social Psychology's Career Trajectory Award, and in 2013, the inaugural Christopher Peterson Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the International Positive Psychology Association.
Her work is cited widely, and she is regularly invited to give keynotes nationally and internationally. Fredrickson's 2009 book, Positivity, describes the relevance of her 20-year research program on positive emotions for a general readership. Her 2013 book, Love 2.0, offers a fresh and practical perspective on this most vital human emotion. She lives in Carrboro, North Carolina, with her husband and two sons.
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Evolution and Genetics
- Health Psychology
- Interpersonal Processes
- Life Satisfaction, Well-Being
Research Group or Laboratory:
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Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). Love 2.0. New York: Hudson Street Press.
- Linked image: Book Cover of "Love 2.0"
- Fredrickson, B. L. (2009). Positivity. New York: Three Rivers Press.
- Algoe, S. B., Fredrickson, B. L., & Gable, S. L. (2013). The social functions of the emotion of gratitude via expression. Emotion, 13(4), 605-609. doi: 10.1037/a0032701
- Catalino, L. I., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2011). A Tuesday in the life of a flourisher: The role of positive emotional reactivity in optimal mental health. Emotion, 11, 938-950.
- Cohn, M. A., Fredrickson, B. L., Brown, S. L., Mikels, J. A., & Conway, A. M. (2009). Happiness unpacked: Positive emotions increase life satisfaction by building resilience. Emotion, 9, 361-368.
- Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). Updated thinking on positivity ratios. American Psychologist. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0033584
- Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218-226.
- Fredrickson, B. L. (2000). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well-being. Target article in Prevention and Treatment, 3. Available on the World Wide Web: http://journals.apa.org/prevention.
- Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300-319.
- Fredrickson, B. L., & Branigan, C. (2005). Positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and thought-action repertoires. Cognition and Emotion, 19, 313-332.
- Fredrickson, B. L., Cohn, M. A., Coffey, K. A., Pek, J., & Finkel, S. M. (2008). Open hearts build lives: Positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1045-1062.
- Fredrickson, B. L., Grewen, K. M., Coffey, K. A., Algoe, S. B., Firestine, A. M., Arevalo, J. M. G., Ma, J., & Cole, S. W. (2013). A functional genomic perspective on human well-being. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Early edition publication. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1305419110.
- Fredrickson, B. L., & Joiner, T. (2018). Reflections on positive emotions and upward spirals. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 13, 194-199.
- Fredrickson, B. L., & Roberts, T.-A. (1997). Objectification theory: Toward understanding women's lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21, 173-206.
- Garland, E. L., Fredrickson, B. L., Kring, A. M., Johnson, D. P., Meyer, P. S., & Penn, D. L. (2010). Upward spirals of positive emotions counter downward spirals of negativity: Insights from the broaden-and-build theory and affective neuroscience on the treatment of emotion dysfunctions and deficits psychopathology. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 849-864.
- Johnson, K. J., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2005). "We all look the same to me": Positive emotions eliminate the own-race bias in face recognition. Psychological Science, 16, 875-881.
- Kok, B. E., Coffey, K. A., Cohn, M. A., Catalino, L. I., Vacharkulksemsuk, T., Algoe, S. B., Brantley, M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). How positive emotions build physical health: Perceived positive social connections account for the upward spiral between positive emotions and vagal tone. Psychological Science. OnlineFirst: DOI: 10.1177/0956797612470827.
- Kok, B. E., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2010). Upward spirals of the heart: Autonomic flexibility, as indexed by vagal tone, reciprocally and prospectively predicts positive emotions and social connectedness. Biological Psychology, 85, 432-436.
- Le Nguyen, K., Lin, J., Algoe, S. B., Brantley, M., Kim, S. L., Brantley, J., Salzberg, S. & Fredrickson, B. L. (2019). Loving-kindness meditation slows biological aging in novices: Evidence from a 12-week randomized controlled trial. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 108, 20-27.
- Otero, M. C., Wells, J. L., Chen, K.-H., Brown, C. L., Connelly, D. E., Levenson, R. W., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2020). Behavioral indices of positivity resonance associated with long-term marital satisfaction. Emotion, 20(7), 1225–1233.
- Prinzing, M. M., De Freitas, J., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2021). The ordinary concept of a meaningful life: The role of subjective and objective factors in third-person attributions of meaning. Journal of Positive Psychology.
- Tugade, M. M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). Resilient individuals use positive emotions to bounce back from negative emotional experiences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 320-333.
- Vacharkulksemsek, T., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2012). Strangers in sync: Achieving embodied rapport through shared movements. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 399-402.
- Advanced Social Psychology
- Personality and Social Psychology
- Positive Organizing and Human Flourishing
- Positive Psychology
- Psychology of Emotions
- Psychology of Women
- Research in Positive Psychology
- Research Methods in Social Psychology
- Selected Topics in Emotion Research
- Situational Construction of Race, Gender & Culture
- Social Psychology
- Social Psychology of Women’s Bodies
Barbara L. Fredrickson
Department of Psychology
309 Davie Hall, CB 3270
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
United States of America
- Phone: (919) 843-0091
- Fax: (919) 962-2537