Tom Jacobs is a staff writer for Pacific Standard magazine. Through interviews, reviews, and essays, he has tracked and analyzed trends in the arts and sciences, with an emphasis on psychology, the role of culture, and the cultivation of creativity. A native of Chicago, Jacobs earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University.
Stories by Tom Jacobs
According to a new study, experiencing adversity may contribute to politically polarized attitudes.
New research finds levels of empathy vary considerably from state to state — and living among empathic neighbors improves quality of life.
Our team names the most provocative and influential findings published during this past year.
New research provides a possible clue as to why so many Donald Trump supporters believe outlandish things.
Articles: Altruists Have More SexBy Tom Jacobs | September 12, 2016
According to a new study, people who give more get more (if you know what we mean).
Articles: How Songs Help Children BondBy Tom Jacobs | January 22, 2016
A new study suggests music plays a role in our early tendency to distinguish friend from foe.
Articles: Altruism is SexyBy Tom Jacobs | January 15, 2016
In a new study, a kind heart trumps good looks—but the combination of both is the most desirable of all.
Researchers argue that's a major reason why the practice is so beneficial.
A new study finds that watching high-quality television dramas can increase our ability to read other people's emotions.
A new study finds that surrounding yourself with emotionally healthy friends is an effective way to avoid—or recover from—depression.
Articles: Is Facebook Building Political Bridges?By Tom Jacobs | May 8, 2015
Two new studies defy conventional wisdom by finding that social media is exposing people to different ideas, not isolating them.
Research has found that right-wingers report being happier than those on the left. But a new study calls that into question by measuring words and behavior.
Learning to express anger in a healthy way will help couples resolve conflicts, instead of letting them simmer.
Christine Carter knows meditation is good for her—but she still avoids it. Here’s how she’s trying to change.
Technology can make our lives happier and more productive—but only if we use it intentionally, a new book argues.
Greater Good Events
International House at UC Berkeley
April 29, 2017
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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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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