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Am Psychol. 2001 Mar;56(3):218-26.

The role of positive emotions in positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology and Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 525 East University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1109, USA. blf@umich.edu

Abstract

In this article, the author describes a new theoretical perspective on positive emotions and situates this new perspective within the emerging field of positive psychology. The broaden-and-build theory posits that experiences of positive emotions broaden people's momentary thought-action repertoires, which in turn serves to build their enduring personal resources, ranging from physical and intellectual resources to social and psychological resources. Preliminary empirical evidence supporting the broaden-and-build theory is reviewed, and open empirical questions that remain to be tested are identified. The theory and findings suggest that the capacity to experience positive emotions may be a fundamental human strength central to the study of human flourishing.

PMID:
11315248
PMCID:
PMC3122271
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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