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Positivity Resonates

October 18, 2013, 12:00 pm
Wheeler Hall, Maude Fife Room
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Barbara Fredrickson takes on a fresh approach on love, and offers practical approaches to strengthening your relationships, teams, and communities.

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In this talk, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson offers a taste of her latest book, Love 2.0 (Penguin, 2013). In it, she asks you to disengage from some of your most cherished notions of love: that it is exclusive, lasting, and unconditional. In synthesizing behavioral, psychophysiological, and neural data from multiple laboratories, Fredrickson reveals how love – defined as micro-moments in which positivity resonates between and among people – can build enduring resources, such as wisdom, community, and even physical health.

Making the case that love creates physical health, Fredrickson describes results from recent randomized controlled trials from her PEP Lab, in which people learn how to self-generate feelings of love and compassion. She and her team find that cardiac vagal tone forecasts people’s day-to-day experiences of love, and that by learning to self-generate love more frequently, people can further improve their vagal tone, and with it, their mental and physical health. This upward spiral dynamic explains how fleeting experiences of positive connection can accumulate and compound to set people on trajectories toward health. More generally, Fredrickson’s fresh take on love offers practical approaches to strengthening your relationships, teams, and communities.

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