Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., is the founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the author of Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life and a co-editor of The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness.
Stories by Dacher Keltner
Articles: Are Facial Expressions Universal?By Paul Ekman, Dacher Keltner | March 12, 2014
Charles Darwin argued that we can detect someone’s emotional state by looking at her face. Does new research prove him wrong?
Articles: Eight Ways to Find More Meaning at WorkBy Morten Hansen, Dacher Keltner | November 4, 2013
Does your job seem dull and meaningless? Morten Hansen and Dacher Keltner point the way out.
Articles: The Compassionate SpeciesBy Dacher Keltner | July 31, 2012
The vulnerability of our children transformed human relationships, argues Dacher Keltner, and made compassion essential to our survival.
Videos and Podcasts: The Evolutionary Roots of CompassionBy Dacher Keltner | July 30, 2012
Dacher Keltner explains why Darwin thought compassion is humans’ strongest instinct.
Videos and Podcasts: Secrets of the Vagus NerveBy Dacher Keltner | July 30, 2012
Dacher Keltner shares his research on the vagus nerve, a key nexus of mind and body and a biological building block of human compassion.
Videos and Podcasts: Dacher Keltner on the Evolutionary Roots of CompassionBy Dacher Keltner | July 27, 2012
The GGSC’s faculty director explains new discoveries revealing the evolutionary roots of human compassion.
Articles: Generation Wii… or Generation We?By Dacher Keltner | May 22, 2012
In this commencement address, Dacher Keltner asks today's graduates to look for the best in themselves and in humanity.
Slide Presentation: The Science of HappinessBy Dacher Keltner | April 27, 2012
Dacher Keltner's presentation on how and why to cultivate happiness.
Slide Presentation: Building Compassion, Reducing StressBy Dacher Keltner | April 8, 2011
Dacher Keltner's presentation on the science and practice of compassion, empathy, and altruism, delivered at the Greater Good Science Center's seminar, "The Science of a Meaningful Life: Building Compassion, Reducing Stress."
Slide Presentation: Seeds of Compassion, Roots of EmpathyBy Dacher Keltner | December 3, 2010
Dacher Keltner's presentation on the science and practice of compassion, empathy, and altruism.
Slide Presentation: Thriving Families: Insights from the Science of A Meaningful LifeBy Dacher Keltner | November 13, 2010
Presentation on the keys to happy kids and compassionate families.
Slide Presentation: Building Compassion, Trust, and HappinessBy Dacher Keltner | November 5, 2010
Presentation delivered at the Greater Good Science Center's seminar, "The Science of a Meaningful Life: Building Compassion, Trust, and Happiness"
Articles: Hands On Research: The Science of TouchBy Dacher Keltner | September 29, 2010
Dacher Keltner explains how compassion is literally at our fingertips.
Videos and Podcasts: Dacher Keltner on TouchBy Dacher Keltner | September 29, 2010
Dacher Keltner shares insights from the new science of touch: compassionate communication, touch therapies, and proof that “to touch is to give life.”
Slide Presentation: Goodness, Evil, and Everyday HeroismBy Dacher Keltner | February 26, 2010
Presentation delivered at the Greater Good Science Center's seminar, "The Science of a Meaningful Life: Goodness, Evil, and Everyday Heroism."
Slide Presentation: “Why to Be Good, How to Be Happy”By Dacher Keltner | September 10, 2009
Presentation delivered at the Greater Good Science Center's seminar, "The Science of a Meaningful Life: Why to Be Good, How to Be Happy."
Slide Presentation: “Compassion, Mindfulness, and Well-Being”By Dacher Keltner | May 15, 2009
Presentation delivered at the Greater Good Science Center's seminar, "The Science of a Meaningful Life: Compassion, Mindfulness, and Well-Being."
Articles: Born to BlushBy Dacher Keltner | May 1, 2009
Dacher Keltner reveals why embarrassment is good for all of us
Slide Presentation: “Beyond Happiness: Jen Science & the Good Life”By Dacher Keltner | April 30, 2009
Part of Cal Discover Lecture Series.
Slide Presentation: “Seven Principles of Good Power: Machiavellian Myths and Power for the New World”By Dacher Keltner | April 17, 2009
Keynote delivered at the California Psychology Association's annual conference.
Anger has a place at work, Deanna Geddes and Dirk Lindebaum argue, as long as it meets three conditions.
A burnout survivor offers tips for coping with it—or avoiding it in the first place.
Research sometimes suggests that movies and other media are a negative influence to rein in. But new studies highlight their potential to spread goodness on a wide scale.
Greater Good Events
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Watch Greater Good Videos
Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.Watch
Greater Good Resources
- "Gratitude and Prosocial Behavior"
Finds that feeling gratitude produces kind and helpful behavior, even when that behavior is costly to the individual actor.
- "Compassion: An Evolutionary Analysis and Empirical Review"
Compassion evolved as a distinct affective experience whose function is to enable cooperation and protection of those who...
- "From Jerusalem to Jericho"
This article on bystander intervention in emergency situations suggests that we are likely to help a “shabbily dressed”...
- Jeffrey J. Froh’s Laboratory for Gratitude in Youth
Learn more about one of the leading researchers of gratitude.
- Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude
The GGSC’s new project which aims to expand the scientific database of gratitude and promote practices of gratitude in...
- The Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness
The Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness, co-directed by Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough, is a...
Book of the Week
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Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence