Barbara Fredrickson, Author . Crown $24.95 (277p) ISBN 978-0-307-39373-9

Positive psychology pioneer Fredrickson introduces readers to the power of harnessing happiness to transform their lives, backed up by impressive lab research. The author lays out the “core truths” and 10 forms of positivity—joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe and love—in a book that promises to change the way people look at feeling good. Disdainful of Pollyannaism, Fredrickson remains realistic in her treatment and provides scientific evidence to illustrate her findings that maintaining a 3:1 “positivity ratio” of positive thoughts to negative emotions creates a “tipping point” between “languishing and flourishing.” The book includes compelling case studies, concrete tips, a Positivity Self Test and a tool kit for decreasing negativity and raising the positivity ratio. Although many of Fredrickson's methods and theories (notes on meditation and karma) will seem familiar to anyone versed in yoga or eastern religions, the scientific foundation of her arguments and additional online resources (www.positivityratio.com ) offer readers a chance to experiment with positivity and very possibly lead richer lives. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 11/03/2008
Release date: 01/01/2009
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