Emma Seppälä, Ph.D., is the associate director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University. She obtained her BA from Yale, her MA from Columbia University, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University.
Emma’s areas of expertise are health psychology, well-being, and resilience. She has examined the impact of meditation on happiness, social connection, and compassion. She has also investigated the effects of yoga-based interventions for combat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder.
She is the recipient of a number of grants and awards including the James W. Lyons Award awarded by Stanford University for service to the Stanford campus: she helped found Stanford’s first class on the Psychology of Happiness and taught a large number of well-being programs for students.
Emma’s research has been cited in numerous television and news outlets including ABC News and The New York Times as well as books such as Congressman Tim Ryan’s Mindful Nation and documentary films such as Free the Mind. Emma often gives talks on the psychology of health and well-being to academic, corporate, and governmental institutions including places such as Google, the National Science Foundation, and a US Congressional Hearing.
In addition to her work at Stanford, she is also a popular Psychology Today blogger and a contributor to Scientific American Mind, the Huffington Post, Mindful, and Spirituality & Health.
Stories by Emma Seppala
Research shows that paying attention to others is the path to success and respect.
Articles: Compassionate Mind, Healthy BodyBy Emma Seppala | July 24, 2013
Compassion research is at a tipping point: Overwhelming evidence suggests compassion is good for our health and good for the world.
Articles: Are Women More Compassionate than Men?By Emma Seppala | June 26, 2013
The Dalai Lama recently argued that women have more biological potential for compassion than men. Does science support that claim?
Mindful people might be happier because they have a better idea of who they are, suggests a new study.
Recent research suggests that the quest for constant bliss is misguided.
A new study suggests that small acts of creativity in everyday life increase our overall sense of well-being.
Greater Good Events
International House at UC Berkeley
April 29, 2017
6 CE Hours
A day-long semiar with GGSC Science Director Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., celebrated compassion teacher Joan Halifax, burnout expert Christina Maslach, Ph.D., and UCLA psychiatrist Elizabeth Bromley, M.D., Ph.D.
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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