News Archive 2009-2018

Barbara Held on the ‘Tyranny of the Positive Attitude’ (Newsweek) Archives

Barbara Held

Barbara Held

The power of positive thinking is often touted by self-help gurus as the path out of hardship toward an improved quality of life. But, as a recent Newsweek article points out, a number of studies find that negative emotions have an important role to play in a person’s overall psychological health.

Furthermore, some experts are “concerned that this simplistic form of positive psychology can do more harm than good.” The article quotes the Barry N. Wish Research Professor of Psychology and Social Studies at Bowdoin, Barbara Held, who has long described this as “the tyranny of the positive attitude.”