Marcial Losada

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Marcial Losada
Born1939[citation needed]
Died2020[citation needed]
NationalityChilean[citation needed]
EducationUniversity of Michigan[citation needed]
Known forFormer director of the Center for Advanced Research[citation needed]

Marcial Losada (1939–2020) was a Chilean psychologist, consultant, and former director of the Center for Advanced Research (CFAR) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.[not verified in body] He is known for his work in academia and business focusing on the development of "high performance teams",[This quote needs a citation] and having participated in partially retracted collaborative work with Barbara Fredrickson of the University of North Carolina, a retraction for which he has been assigned the culpability.

Early life and education[edit]

Marcial Francisco Losada was born in 1939 in Chile.[citation needed] He received a Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan.[when?][citation needed]


After finishing his doctoral work, Losada served as a Center for Advanced Research (CFAR) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.[when?][citation needed] In his career, Losada developed a nonlinear dynamics model, the meta learning model, to show dynamical patterns achieved by high, medium and low performing teams, where performance was evaluated based on profitability, customer satisfaction, and 360-degree feedback.[citation needed] In pursuing these goals, he founded and served as executive director of Losada Line Consulting, which had presented past workshops and seminars at companies including Apple, Boeing, EDS, GM, and Merck, and foundations including the Kellogg and Mellon Foundations, with high performance team-building contracts at BCI, Banchile, BHP-Billiton, Codelco, and Telefónica.[1][better source needed]

Losada claimed the dynamical patterns related to team performance appear in coordinate spaces of "positivity-negativity," "inquiry-advocacy" and "other-self," and are controlled by connectivity, which is supposed to reflect interpersonal attunement of a team.[2][third-party source needed] Losada, along with Barbara Fredrickson, developed the concept of the critical positivity ratio (also known as the Losada line), which states that there exist precise cut-off points for an individual's ratio of positive to negative emotions, above and below which the individual will fail to flourish.[citation needed]

Beginning in 2008, measured criticism began for the 2005 and earlier papers, including from Luoma, Hämäläinen, and Saarinen of the Systems Analysis Laboratory at Aalto University,[3] and Navas at CNRS,[4] reports that did not draw widespread attention.[citation needed] The criticism of the work for flawed methodology and invalid application of differential equations was renewed and much amplified by the report by psychologists Nicholas J.L. Brown and Harris Friedman and mathematician Alan Sokal.[5][6][7]

Losada's coauthor, Fredrickson, continues to insist on the measurability of such a ratio, and the existence tipping-points, but has distanced herself from the mathematical portions of the 2005 paper, which were subsequently retracted by the journal; Fredrickson reports that Losada declined to respond to the criticism.[8][full citation needed][9]

Personal life[edit]

Losada passed away in 2020.[where?][citation needed]


  • Losada, M. (1999). The Complex Dynamics of High Performance Teams. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 30 (9-10), 179–192.[1]
  • 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.[10]
  • Fredrickson, B. L. & Losada, M. (2005). Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing. American Psychologist, 60 (7) 678–686.[11]
  • Fredrickson, B. L. (2009). Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the 3-to-1 Positivity Ratio that Will Change Your life. Crown Publishers, New York.


  1. ^ Losada, M.F. and Social Psychology Network Staff (February 2022). "Marcial Francisco Losada". Social Psychology Network ( Retrieved February 10, 2022.
  2. ^ See Losada, 1999; Losada & Heaphy, 2004; Fredrickson & Losada, 2005; Fredrickson, 2009, chapter 7.
  3. ^ Luoma, Jukka; Hämäläinen, Raimo P.; Saarinen, Esa (2008-08-27). "Perspectives on Team Dynamics: Meta Learning and Systems Intelligence". Systems Research and Behavioral Science. 25 (6): 757–767. doi:10.1002/sres.905. ISSN 1092-7026.
  4. ^ Navas, A. (2011). Un cas d'inconscience (?). Images des Mathématiques
  5. ^ Bower, Bruce (August 12, 2013). "Ratio for a Good Life Exposed as 'Nonsense'". Science News. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 'What's shocking is not just that this piece of pseudomathematical nonsense received 322 scholarly citations and 164,000 web mentions, but that no one criticized it publicly for eight years, not even supposed experts in the field,' Sokal says.
  6. ^ Brown, N. J. L., Sokal, A. D., & Friedman, H. L. (2013). The Complex Dynamics of Wishful Thinking: The Critical Positivity Ratio. American Psychologist. Electronic publication ahead of print.
  7. ^ Friedman, Harris L. & Brown, Nicholas J. L. (2018). "Implications of Debunking the "Critical Positivity Ratio" for Humanistic Psychology: Introduction to Special Issue". J Humanist Psychol. 58 (3): 239–261. doi:10.1177/0022167818762227. PMC 5898419. PMID 29706664.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Fredrickson, B. L. (2013) Updated Thinking on Positivity Tatios. American Psychologist. Electronic publication ahead of print.[full citation needed]
  9. ^ Anthony, Andrew (18 January 2014). "Interview: The British Amateur Who Debunked the Mathematics of Happiness". The Guardian. Retrieved February 10, 2022. Fredrickson subsequently removed the critical chapter that outlines Losada's input from further editions of Positivity. She has avoided speaking to... the press but in an email ... maintained that "on empirical grounds, yes, tipping points are highly probable" in relation to positive emotions and flourishing.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^[dead link]

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