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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Escape Self-Absorption through Positive Emotions - YouTube

Uploaded by bu on Apr 10, 2010

Barbara Frederickson speaks on the power of positivity as part of the Religious and Psychological Well-Being Templeton Lecture Series at Boston University's Danielsen Institute.

In her three-part lecture, How Positivity Seeds Character Development, Spiritual Transformation, and Lifestyle Change, Frederickson details how positive thoughts and emotions can broaden a person's perspective and transform his or her life for the better.

Hosted by Danielsen Institute on February 20, 2010.


License: Standard YouTube License

Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory 

(a.k.a. PEPLab)

We study people’s emotions, particularly their positive emotions. We are interested in how positive emotions affect people’s thinking patterns, social behavior, and physiological reactions. Our ultimate goal is to understand how positive emotions might accumulate and compound to transform people’s lives for the better.

Our techniques include analyzing reactivity in people’s autonomic nervous systems (using a wide range of measures) and facial muscles (using facial EMG) . We also assess the breadth of attention and cognition using various computerized reaction time tests. We are also expert in asking people to report on their subjective experiences of emotions and emotion-related experiences using both on-line and retrospective techniques.

This site is intended to appeal to scientists, students, as well as the interested public.
 If you would like information beyond what this website provides, please contact Professor Barbara Fredrickson via email at or the lab manager, Ann Firestine at

Dr. Fredrickson is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Principal Investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at the University of North Carolina.

She is a leading scholar within social psychology, affective science, and positive psychology.

Her research centers on positive emotions and human flourishing and is supported by grants from the National Institute of Health.

Her research and her teaching have been recognized with numerous honors, including, the 2000 American Psychological Association's Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology.

Her work is cited widely and she is regularly invited to give keynotes nationally and internationally.


You have -- within you -- the fuel to thrive and to flourish,
and to leave this world in better shape than you found it.
Sometimes you tap into this fuel – other times you don’t.
But the sad fact is that most people have no idea
how to tap into this fuel or even recognize it when they do.
Where is this fuel within you?

You tap into it whenever you feel energized and excited by new ideas.
You tap into it whenever you feel at one with your surroundings, at peace.
You tap into it whenever you feel playful, creative, or silly.
You tap into it whenever you feel your soul stirred by the sheer beauty of existence.
You tap into it whenever you feel connected to others and loved.
In short, you tap into it whenever positive emotions resonate within you.



Organizations and Journals:

Positive Organizational Scholarship
Positive Psychology Center
International Society for Research on Emotions
Social Neuroscience Journal
UNC Social Psychology
UNC Psychology
Journal of Positive Psychology
National Museum of Health and Medicine

Centre for Confidence and Well-being

Related Researchers and Labs:

John Cacioppo

Laura Carstensen - Life-span Development Laboratory
The Cognition and Affect Project
Richard Davidson - Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience
Paul Ekman
Phoebe C. Ellsworth
Geneva Emotion Group
James Gross - Stanford Psychophysiology Laboratory
Randy Larsen

Robert W. Levenson - Berkeley Psychophysiology Laboratory
Susan Nolen-Hoeksema
Peter Salovey - Human, Emotion, & Behavior Laboratory
Craig Smith
Erika Rosenberg
Marcial Losada
Tor Wager
Stephanie Brown


Thanks to the National Museum of Health and Medicine for the use of its artwork in creating this website.

An image of the endocrine system of a man, woman and baby was among more than 60 images on display in "The Human Body Revealed" exhibit at the National Museum of Health and Medicine of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C.

The image is from a book published by Doubleday, "The Architecture and Design of Man and Woman: The Marvel of the Human Body, Revealed," by Alexander Tsiaras, an internationally recognized photojournalist, artist, and writer, who is president and CEO of Anatomical Travelogue, Inc. in New York.


Why do humans (and possibly, animals) have positive emotions? Positive emotions are unique adaptations in the scheme of evolution. Seemingly, they do not provide inherent sustenance or protection.

Some theorists have argued that positive emotions are markers of well-being or that they trigger approach behavior. Others have thought that positive emotions are merely offsets to negative emotions to make life more bearable!

However, these explanations are not truly complete and leave many questions unanswered. Professor Fredrickson’s research program challenges the assumptions of traditional models of emotion and provides a unique viewpoint on the function of positive emotions.

Here are some of the research lines within our laboratory.

Please note that these links provide only a brief synopsis.

For the sources of the ideas, please see our publications:

The Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions
The Broaden Hypothesis
The Build Hypothesis
The Undoing Hypothesis
Positivity Ratios


May 2010 - UNC Professor Barbara Fredrickson shared her latest research with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a private scientific meeting hosted by the Mind and Life Institute to celebrate the Grand Opening of the University of Wisconsin's Center for Investigating Healthy Minds in Madison, Wisconsin, on May 16th, 2010.

January 2009 - Watch Dr. Fredrickson describe themes in Positivity: Watch on YouTube.

January 2009 - View Dr. Fredrickson's new companion website to Positivity:

November 2008 - Read Dr. Fredrickson's op-ed in the Huffington Post. To view this article use the following link: "Keep Stoking the Positivity -- Our Future Depends On It"

January 2008 - Read about Dr. Fredrickson's work in an article in the Winter 2008 issue of UNC's Endeavors magazine. To view this article, click on the following link: "Why Be Happy"

May 2007 - Watch Dr. Fredrickson's interview with Bill Friday in "North Carolina People" Here

April 2007 - The PEP-Lab grows exponentially and welcomes Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk and Joe Duarte as incoming graduate students, Yi-Chen Lee as a visiting scholar, and Sara Algoe Ph.D. as a new post-doc researcher.

January 2007 - Read Dr. Fredrickson's coverage in the January 7th New York Times Sunday Magazine article about Positive Psychology, "Happiness 101"


Escape Self-Absorption through Positive Emotions - YouTube