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.
Videos and Podcasts: Teach Compassion: Dacher KeltnerBy Dacher Keltner | June 11, 2011
The founding director of the Greater Good Science Center explains how humans are wired for compassion.
Presented as part of the TEDxGoldenGateED event on June 11, 2011.
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
Feeling forced to say “thanks” at Thanksgiving dinner? Here are four exercises to help get the gratefulness going.
"Thank you" doesn't just bring light to people's faces. It also lights up different parts of the brain.
The emphasis on testing can squeeze the feeling out of today’s classrooms. Here is one teacher’s journey to re-connect with herself and her students.
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