Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.On February 22, 2013, we had a riveting question-and-answer call with Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, Professor of Social Psychology and Management at the University of North Carolina, internationally-acclaimed expert in the science of positive emotion, and author of a new book: Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become

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TedxLowerEastSide; Barbara Fredrickson/ Remaking Love


Barbara Fredrickson Love 2.0We all know love matters. But in this newly-published and groundbreaking book, Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become, positive emotions expert Barbara L. Fredrickson, PhD, shows us just how much. Even more than happiness and optimism, love holds the key to improving our mental and physical health and lengthening our lives.

Barbara examines and rejects commonly-held notions about the nature of love and then, using physiological research data from the laboratory she directs, redefines love as micromoments of connection between people-even strangers. She demonstrates that our capacity for experiencing love can be measured and strengthened in ways that will improve our health, resilience, and sense of well-being.

Love 2.0 is eminently practical, weaving “together several new strands of science while keeping an eye toward the spiritual and the practical.” Barbara writes, for example, that in Love 2.0 ” I offer you explicit guidance on how to more often and more effectively seed love, love for yourself and love for others, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health.

“You’ll come away having learned that love need not remain an unpredictable and elusive state.With practice, you’ll find you can generate love anytime you wish. Love will become a renewable resource that you can tap to fuel your own wellbeing, and the wellbeing of all those within your radius.” (emphasis added). Now how can you not attend this interview? Please come and bring all your questions.

LOVE 2.0

Barbara Fredrickson
“The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love.”
-Margaret Atwood

Longing. You know the feeling. It’s that ache of sensing that something vital is missing from your life; a deep thirst for more. More meaning, more connection, more energy-more something. Longng is that feeling that courses through your body just before you decide that you’re restless, lonely, or unhappy.

Longing like this is not just another mental state. It’s deeply physical. Your body craves some essential nutrient that it’s not getting, yet you can’t quite put your finger on what it is. Sometimes you can …MORE


Barbara L. Fredrikson PhDDr. Barbara L Fredrickson is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab (PEP Lab) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a leading scholar within social psychology, affective science, and positive psychology and the author of the new bestselling book, Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become.

Born in the Midwest and raised by “a long line of stoics” who altogether discouraged emotional expression, Barb escaped into intellectual pursuits, and obtained her BA in Psychology, summa cum laude, from Minnesota’s Carleton College. She earned her PhD from Stanford University and became a post-doctoral fellow at UC Berkeley’s Psychophysiology Lab.

After assuming Assistant Professorships, first in Psychology at Duke University, and then at the University of Michigan in both Business and Psychology, Barb moved back to North Carolina to assume Full Professorships at the University of North Carolina, both in the Department of Psychology and the Kenan-Flagler School of Business.

Barb’s research into positive emotions and human flourishing has been supported by grants from multiple agencies within the National Institutes of Health for 16 consecutive years. Her research and teaching have been recognized with numerous honors, including, in 2000, the inaugural American Psychological Association’s Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology–for her theory of how positive emotions have functioned in human evolution-and in 2013, the Inaugural International Positive Psychology Association’s Christopher Peterson Gold Medal for the scholar whose career exemplifies the best of positive psychology at the personal, professional, and academic levels.

She has become one of the most highly-cited psychological scientists with over 80 peer-reviewed articles to her credit. Her bestselling book, Positivity, and her new book, Love 2.0, have been translated into nearly 20 languages, and she is regularly invited to give keynotes, courses, and interviews both nationally and internationally.

Barb’s scientific contributions have influenced scholars and practitioners worldwide, in disciplines ranging from education to business and beyond. She serves on the Board of Governors for the Center for Creative Leadership, is President-Elect of the International Positive Psychology Association, and has presented her research at White House Workshops on public policy. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, The Times of London, The Atlantic, The Economist, CNN, PBS, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Oprah Magazine, and elsewhere.

In her PEP Lab, Barb has investigated the effects of loving-kindness meditation (self-generated tenderness, warmth, and compassion for others) on vagal tone, a physiologic measure of emotional regulation which has been associated with adaptability, social connection and bonding if high, and risk of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and stroke if low.

Findings suggest that people who were able to increase their vagal tone through meditation totaling about an hour a week were capable of experiencing more micro-moments of love in their days–a growing capacity to love. Focusing on increasing this kind of positive emotion can, in turn, contribute to an upward spiral of better coping responses to stress, improved health, and an ever increasing sense of connection to others.

In May 2010, Barb had the honor of being invited to personally brief His Holiness the Dalai Lama on these research findings. Barb lives in Carrboro, North Carolina with her husband, two sons and two cats, from whom she continues to learn about love.


Barb’s Website for her new book, Love 2.0 An important website supporting Love 2.0.

Barb’s Website for her first book, Positivity “Discover the power of the 3:1 ratio.”

Barb’s Introduction to Loving-Kindness meditation

There’s No Such Thing as Everlasting Love (According to Science) The Atlantic (1/24/13). “A new book argues that the emotion happens in ‘micro-moments of positivity resonance.’ In Love 2.0, Barbara Fredrickson offers a radically new conception of love.”

The Science of Love: How Positivity Resonance Shapes the Way We Connect by Maria Popova (1/28/13) The neurobiology of how the warmest emotion blurs the boundaries by you and not-you.

Video. Barbara talks about Love 2.0 (:03)

10 things you might not know about love A CNN Health Interview (1/24/13).

Video. “Love-a new lens on the science of thriving” (:27)

Video. Using Positivity to Bounce Back from Inevitable Setbacks. (:87). An excellent detailed lecture that includes Barb talking about her personal experience on 9/11/01 and the role of positive emotion in crises. Based on Barb’s work covered in her first book, Positivity.

Video. Barbara talking about positivity and resilience, dealing with negative feelings, physiological effects of positive mindset, and how to incorporate positivity and mindfulness(:12)

The Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab (PEPLab) at UNC-Chapel Hill, where Barbara is Director and Principal Investigator.

Check out PEPLab’s unique mission statement on the Purpose page, and overview of important research contributions and directions on the Publications page

Barbara’s March 2009 interview with MentorCoach (1:20)

Spread the Love–the Benefits of Bonding Oprah Magazine Interview (2/13).

A refreshing biographical snapshot and personal interview with Barbara in The Sun Magazine, 2009 with information on cultivating positivity, the value of negative emotions, and how to balance these two mindsets.

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