Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Greater Good Science Center and a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence and Born to Be Good, and a co-editor of The Compassionate Instinct.
Stories by Dacher Keltner
Videos and Podcasts: Why Awe Is Such an Important EmotionBy Dacher Keltner | August 3, 2016
Dacher Keltner gives an overview of the young science of awe, from how it’s expressed to its benefits for health and well-being.
In an adaptation from his new book, Dacher Keltner explains the secret to gaining and keeping power: focus on the good of others.
Articles: Why Do We Feel Awe?By Dacher Keltner | May 10, 2016
According to Dacher Keltner, there are important evolutionary reasons: It's good for our minds, bodies, and social connections.
Articles: Does Wealth Reduce Compassion?By BerkeleyWellness, Dacher Keltner | December 17, 2015
Dacher Keltner discusses his lab's research into the effect that wealth has on people's generosity and sense of connectedness.
Articles: How Gratitude Beats MaterialismBy Jason Marsh, Dacher Keltner | January 8, 2015
New studies reveal how to deliberately cultivate gratitude in ways that counter materialism and its negative effects.
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.
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."
Greater Good's editors pick this year’s most thought-provoking, important, or useful nonfiction books on the science of a meaningful life.
Christine Carter explains how to shorten your to-do list and feel more motivated to tackle it, all at once.
A new book examines the common psychological barriers to change—and how to overcome them.
Greater Good Events
December 9-10, 2016
This workshop is an introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), an empirically-supported training program based on the pioneering research of Kristin Neff and the clinical perspective of Chris Germer.
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Take a Greater Good Quiz!
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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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Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program