Friday, November 08, 2019

Positive Psychology

I was biased against it from the start because it seemed to be making large claims that didn't have any evidence of working with my people, the ones with serious mental illness and in crisis.  I didn't know anything about positivity ratios, nor would I have been much interested.  If you want to study such things, there is no need to be more complicated than the simple 3-1 ratio.  Test that.

It turns out the problem stems from trying to make the data look ultra scientific, when it in fact seems to have little underneath it.


Donna B. said...

I found the suggested "good" range -- approx. 3-1 to 11.5-1 of positive to negative emotions interesting. I'm rounding up, the numbers cited were to 4 decimal places, because that just sounds so scientific, right?

The defined "range of normality" lacks a unit of measurement. It's impossible to predict how an individual will assign the value of a negative or positive emotion, isn't it?. I'm not educated in this area and have no idea whether there's validity in thinking that someone who is bipolar will assign greater weight depending on where he is emotionally at the moment. For that matter, don't "normal" people weight emotions differently?

Personally, I think that "wishful thinking" and the "power of positive thinking" are occasionally useful to help a normally mentally healthy person get over some ordinary humps of normal daily life. Since I figure I'm a generally "negative" person, I'm going to equate this with my decision to tell myself "I'm not gonna flip him off even if he does drive like and asshole and cut me off" as an instance of positive thinking. For that I get a + in the positivity column, right?

james said...

I read the story too, but you got to it first--and had more useful comments to add than I would. A calculation to 4 decimal places with no error bars? Smells to high heaven.

I'd never heard of the original story (must be very insulated), but using fluid flow equations for emotional interactions sounds pretty wacky. What the heck does pressure mean in that context?

FWIW, wrt "positivity" and "negativity", Dorigo says he was trying an experiment on himself...