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Pop Culture Review

Most Recent Story

Five-year-old Will in a scene from Free the Mind.

Free the Mind: Hope after Trauma

By Jason Marsh | May 17, 2013

A new documentary reveals the power of mindfulness and neuroplasticity. Bay Area residents can catch a screening tonight at Stanford University.

 
  

Past Stories

Symon has faced the death of his mother, the births of his children, unemployment, divorce, and re-marriage (to Vienetta, at right). Though never economically successful, Symon's life reveals the importance of family and social connections to a happy life.

Five Life Lessons from “56 Up”

By Jeremy Adam Smith | March 9, 2013

The "Up" documentaries have followed 14 people from ages seven to 56—and in the process illustrated recent discoveries about the science of a meaningful life.

 
Caine Monroy, creator of the most famous cardboard arcade on the planet.

Lessons in Creativity from Caine’s Arcade

By Jason Marsh | May 1, 2012

The latest viral video sensation is more than a portrait of a cute and creative kid. It's a guide to how we can nurture kids' imagination.

 
Katniss and Peeta of The Hunger Games.

Five Lessons in Human Goodness from “The Hunger Games”

By Jeremy Adam Smith | April 18, 2012

The plot of the new film sounds cynical. But it reveals a surprising amount about the science of human goodness.

 
Alex is one of five central subjects in Bully. He's a sweet but brutally tormented 12 year old in Sioux City, Iowa.

Bully: The Movie Every Teacher and Student Needs to See

By Jeremy Adam Smith | April 18, 2012

The new documentary Bully tells the stories of five bullied kids—and says what we can do to help them.

 

Positive Psychology Oscars of 2011

By Ryan Niemiec | February 24, 2012

Psychologist Ryan Niemiec looks at how this year's Oscar nominees illustrate human strengths and virtues.

 

Tell Us What Movie Makes YOU Happy

By Jason Marsh | September 2, 2009
 

What Movies Make You Happy?

By Jeremy Adam Smith | September 1, 2009

Jeremy Adam Smith shares the 10 films that inspire and elevate him. What are yours?

 

Lie to Him

By Jason Marsh | January 28, 2009
 
The HBO series  In Treatment  follows the work of psychotherapist Paul Westin, played by Gabriel Byrne.

Pop Treatment

By Joshua Coleman | December 1, 2008

How do TV therapy sessions measure up to real life?

 

Through the Looking Glass: What happens when media coverage distorts science?

By Cheryl K. Olson | September 1, 2008
 
The Mist continued the Hollywood tradition of depicting humans as prone to panic.

The Mist of Panic

By Lee Clarke | June 1, 2008

How do people respond to disasters? Hollywood and science disagree.

 
Supernanny Jo Frost (left) comes to the rescue of the Bowersock family.

The Powerless Parent

By David Hoyt | December 1, 2007

Supernanny sends a tough message to parents, but does it really help?

 

The Placebo Effect

By Christine Carter | September 1, 2007

Does The Secret offer winning advice … or snake oil? Maybe a bit of both.

 
A makeshift memorial board in the Battlestar Galactica reminds the crew of their sacrifices.

Altruism in Space

By Jeremy Adam Smith | June 1, 2007

What does the science-fiction series Battlestar Galactica teach us about human nature?

 

Most...

  
  • How to Help Teens Find Purpose

    April 16, 2015

    Teens are naturally driven to seek new experiences—and that may be the key to helping them develop a sense of purpose in life.

  • Can Music Help Keep Memory Alive?

    April 21, 2015

    A conversation with the makers of Alive Inside, a new documentary about how music is helping people with dementia.

  • How to Help a Narcissist to Forgive

    April 14, 2015

    Narcissists struggle to forgive people for even minor transgressions. But a new study points the way forward.

  

Greater Good Events

How Compassion Creates Resilience, with Kelly McGonigal
International House, UC Berkeley campus
May 20, 2015


How Compassion Creates Resilience, with Kelly McGonigal

A book event for The Upside of Stress


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Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Book of the Week

The Path to Purpose By William Damon Looks at how children are hampered in their search for meaning, and how concerned adults can help them find it.

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"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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