The Golden Ratio For Happiness?

Everyone from scientists to self-help gurus have long sought the secret to happiness, contributing a series of theories, formulas and advice that range from the outlandish to the practical.

One popular formula, positive psychologist Barbara Fredrickson’s “golden ratio,” was recently revived in a TIME post, but is there any truth to it?

The theory posits that we must have three positive emotions for every one negative emotion in order to thrive — this ratio is the definitive tipping point for happiness and flourishing, the Positivity author concluded. And, by this calculation, Fredrickson’s research has suggested that less than 20 percent of people are thriving.

Fredrickson and colleague Marcial Losato originally outlined their “positivity calculus” theory — drawn from fluid dynamics, a subfield of physics — in a 2005 paper published in the journal American Psychologist. In it, they suggest that flourishing is associated with positivity ratios of about 2.9 and that a more common ratio of 2-to-1 could help people “get by,” but not thrive.

The 3-to-1 ratio applies to overall happiness, but needs within particular scenarios look quite different, according to their paradigm. For example, successful relationships require a 5-to-1 ratio —> Read More Here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *