A new online publication called Narratively has an excellent story about how a part-time student blew apart a long-standing theory in positive psychology.
The article is the geeky yet compelling tale of how weekend student Nick Brown found something fishy about the ‘critical positivity ratio’ theory that says people flourish when they have between 2.9013 and 11.6346 positive emotions for every negative one.
He recruited psychology professor Harris Friedman and renowned bunk buster Alan Sokal into the analysis and their critique eventually got the paper partially retracted for being based on very shaky foundations.
It’s a great fun read and also serves as a good backgrounder to positive psychology.
I’ve also noticed that the latest edition of Narratively has loads of great articles on psychology.