The Losada Line, also known as the "Losada ratio," was described by psychologist Marcial Losada while researching the differences in ratios of positivity and negativity between high and low performance teams.
The Losada Line represents a positivity/negativity ratio of roughly 2.9, and it marks the lower boundary of the Losada Zone (the upper bound is around 11.6). It was corroborated by Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in individuals, and by Waugh and Fredrickson in relationships. They found that the Losada Line separates people who are able to reach a complex understanding of others from those who do not. People who "flourish" are above the Losada Line, and those who "languish" are below it. The Losada Line bifurcates the type of dynamics that are possible for an interactive human system. Below it, we find limiting dynamics represented by fixed-point attractors; at or above it, we find innovative dynamics represented by complex order attractors (complexor).
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- Losada, M. (1999). The complex dynamics of high performance teams. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 30(9–10), 179–192.
- Losada, M. & Heaphy, E. (2004). The role of positivity and connectivity in the performance of business teams: A nonlinear dynamics model. American Behavioral Scientist, 47(6), 740–765.
- Waugh, C.E. & Fredrickson, B.L. (2006). Nice to know you: Positive emotions, self-other overlap, and complex understanding in the formation of a new relationship. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1(2), 93–106.
- Fredrickson, B.L. & Losada, M. (2005). Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing. American Psychologist, 60(7), 678–686.
- Fredrickson, B.L. (2009). Positivity. Crown Publishers, New York.