# The complex dynamics of wishful thinking: the critical positivity ratio.

@article{Brown2013TheCD, title={The complex dynamics of wishful thinking: the critical positivity ratio.}, author={Nicholas J. L. Brown and Alan D. Sokal and Harris L. Friedman}, journal={The American psychologist}, year={2013}, volume={68 9}, pages={ 801-13 } }

We examine critically the claims made by Fredrickson and Losada (2005) concerning the construct known as the "positivity ratio." We find no theoretical or empirical justification for the use of differential equations drawn from fluid dynamics, a subfield of physics, to describe changes in human emotions over time; furthermore, we demonstrate that the purported application of these equations contains numerous fundamental conceptual and mathematical errors. The lack of relevance of these…

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## 152 Citations

The persistence of wishful thinking.

- Environmental ScienceThe American psychologist
- 2014

In response to a critique, Fredrickson and Losada withdrew their nonlinear dynamics model, but Fredricks on (December December 2013) reaffirmed some claims concerning positivity ratios on the basis of empirical studies and the alleged supporting evidence is reviewed.

The Persistence of Wishful Thinking: Response to “Updated Thinking on Positivity Ratios”

- Psychology
- 2014

We analyze critically the renewed claims made by Fredrickson (2013) concerning positivity ratios and “flourishing,” and attempt to disentangle some conceptual confusions; we also address the alleged…

Implications of Debunking the “Critical Positivity Ratio” for Humanistic Psychology: Introduction to Special Issue

- PsychologyJournal of humanistic psychology
- 2018

An extraordinary claim was made by one of the leading researchers within positive psychology, namely, there is a universal–invariant ratio between positive to negative emotions that serves as a…

Updated thinking on positivity ratios.

- PsychologyThe American psychologist
- 2013

Even when scrubbed of Losada's now-questioned mathematical modeling, ample evidence continues to support the conclusion that, within bounds, higher positivity ratios are predictive of flourishing mental health and other beneficial outcomes.

Nonlinear Dynamical Systems and Humanistic Psychology

- Psychology
- 2018

The recent debunking by Brown, Sokal, and Friedman of some high-profile results applying chaos theory to positive psychology creates the opportunity to shed light on the quality work that has been…

There Is No Empirical Evidence for Critical Positivity Ratios: Comment on Fredrickson (2013)

- Psychology
- 2018

Fredrickson and Losada (American Psychologist, 2005, 60, 678-686) theorized that a ratio of positive affect to negative affect (positivity ratio) of 2.9013 acts as a critical minimum for well-being.…

An empirical ratio in search of a theory.

- PsychologyThe American psychologist
- 2014

This comment shows how to account for the phenomenon of the 3:1 ratio using a mathematical model of reflexive awareness that captures the property of the mind to model self and other at increasing levels of awareness.

No empirical evidence for critical positivity ratios.

- PsychologyThe American psychologist
- 2014

It is pointed out many times over many years that the data and the analysis used to test a theory should correspond to that theory and that a test of a within-person theory nearly always requires within- person data and analysis.

Nonlinear dynamical models in psychology are widespread and testable.

- PsychologyThe American psychologist
- 2014

Comments on the article by Fredrickson and Losada about nonlinear dynamical systems (NDS) models in psychology that would-be researchers should understand if the goal is to move the science forward are offered.

Expression of Concern

- BiologyCellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology
- 2021

The Editorial Board and Publisher of the American Behavioral Scientist hereby issue an Expression of Concern regarding the nonlinear dynamic model and subsequent model-based predictions in the…

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