If you head over here to Dr Barb Fredrickson’s website, you can take her “Positivity Ratio Self Test”
It takes about 5 minutes, and the results will tell you some important information about yourself.
You’ll be asked to rate a list of positive and negative emotions according to how much you’ve felt each emotion in the past day.
The scale is from 0 (= not at all) to 4 (= extremely). Anything you felt at the level of a 2 (= moderately) and above, counts toward your score.
Positive and negative emotions are added up separately, and the total score you get is your “Positivity Ratio” which is your ratio of positive to negative emotions (e.g. 4:1., 3:1, or 2:1).
To get a good picture of your Positivity Ratio, you’d probably want to take the test several days in a row rather than just take it once.
Rigorous studies by Dr Fredrickson and her Positive Psychology colleagues have shown that people need a Positivity Ratio of 3:1 or better to function at their ideal level.
In other words, people need to experience 3 positive emotions for every 1 negative emotion.
Sadly, about 80% of people don’t achieve this ratio.
Once people do achieve the 3:1 ratio they begin to experience what Dr Fredrickon has coined “Broaden and Build effects”. This refers to the upward spiral that occurs when feeling good prompts you think and act differently than when you’re feeling less good.
Studies have shown that when people achieve the 3:1 positivity ratio, they tend to become more generous, caring, and dedicated in their actions, and their thoughts become more creative, insightful, expansive, and clearer. This in turn causes people to achieve greater success in their work and personal lives, and the upward spiral of feeling good, and thinking and acting constructively continues.
If you take the test, you’ll know if you would benefit from doing some work to improve your positivity ratio, which can be done by either decreasing your negative emotions or increasing your positive emotions.
I’ve blogged about Barb Fredrickson’s work before (I reviewed her book “Positivity”), but I wanted to make people aware of being able to take this test online.
If you need help to figure out how to improve your positivity ratio, you could try out the suggestions in Dr Fredrickson’s book or in Dr Sonja Lyubomirsky’s book “The How of Happiness,” or use your own ideas.
Dr Fredrickson’s book is here on Amazon Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive
Or you can get it in audio book format for FREE using this free trial.