The Role of Positive Emotions in Psychology
The “point” of positive emotions depends on who you ask; you will likely get a different answer from experts in different fields.
A philosopher might say “to balance out the negative emotions.”
A poet might say “to inspire authentic works of art.”
A marketing executive might say “to make it easier to sell things.”
A cynic might say “what are those?”
Okay, those examples may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, but clearly there can be a very wide range of ideas on the purpose of positive emotions!
You will even get different answers within the field of psychology itself.
An evolutionary psychologist might respond “to enhance human beings’ chances of survival and reproduction.”
A social psychologist might say “to form the bonds that connect us to others.”
A positive psychologist may say “to make life worth living.”
Or, she might say “to broaden our awareness and build our inner resources.” That is the gist of Barbara Fredrickson’s groundbreaking “Broaden-and-Build Theory” of positive emotions. Read on to learn more about this theory.
Remember to come back tomorrow for Part 5
Sent with Love