Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson

Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Director of the Social Psychology Doctoral Program and the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory, President-Elect, International Positive Psychology Association


Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D. has been advancing the science of positive emotions for more than 25 years. She is currently Kenan Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she holds appointments in psychology and business and directs the PEP Lab. She has authored 100+ peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and her books, Positivity and Love 2.0 have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Dr. Fredrickson’s award-winning research, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, reveals how micro-moments of love and other forms of positivity nourish your health, wisdom, and longevity. As one of the most highly-cited contributors to psychological science, Dr. Fredrickson is best known for her broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. It describes how your positive emotions were sculpted by the discerning chisel of Darwinian natural selection to serve as life-giving nutrients for growth.

Dr. Fredrickson’s scientific contributions have influenced scholars and practitioners worldwide, within business, education, counseling, healthcare, the military, and beyond. She is President-Elect of the International Positive Psychology Association and her work has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, CNN, PBS, The Atlantic, The Economist, and elsewhere. She has also been invited to brief His Holiness the Dalai Lama on her research on several occasions.