Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas
Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., is the science director of the Greater Good Science Center, where she oversees the GGSC’s Expanding Gratitude project.
Emiliana is a neuroscientist who earned her doctorate in Cognition, Brain and Behavior at UC Berkeley, where she also conducted post-doctoral research with the GGSC’s Dacher Keltner, studying the human propensity for care/nurturance, love of humanity, compassion and awe. Her research has explored the neuro-biological roots of pro-social emotion and behavior, as well as the psychosocial benefits of emotional authenticity and connection, among other topics.
Before returning to Berkeley to join the GGSC, Emiliana was the Associate Director/Senior Scientist at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University.
Stories by Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas
Videos and Podcasts: The Biology of Mindfulness and CompassionBy Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | September 25, 2013
In this presentation from the GGSC’s “Practicing Mindfulness & Compassion” conference, GGSC Science Director Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas explains why mindfulness meditation can help support the growth of compassion in the brain.
Videos and Podcasts: Emiliana Simon-Thomas on Gratitude for EducatorsBy Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | July 3, 2013
A presentation by Emiliana Simon-Thomas on the science of gratitude and how it can be applied in educational settings, given July 3, 2013, at the first annual Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators.
See how it compares with the results from our Compassionate Organizations Quiz.
Articles: Here’s How Much You Love HumanityBy Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | May 21, 2013
Results from the Greater Good Science Center's "Love of Humanity" quiz.
Articles: Meditation Makes Us Act with CompassionBy Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | April 11, 2013
A new study suggests mindfulness meditation can help us overcome the "bystander effect."
Articles: Can a Bad Deed Lead to a Good One?By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | April 3, 2013
A new study reveals how our frame of mind shapes our sense of right and wrong.
Articles: How Grateful are Americans?By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Jeremy Adam Smith | January 10, 2013
A new poll finds that Americans think their own gratitude is increasing, while everyone else’s is going down. The good news? This is impossible!
Articles: A “Thnx” a Day Keeps the Doctor AwayBy Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | December 19, 2012
Research predicts gratitude will make people happier and healthier. But we didn't expect our new online gratitude journal, Thnx4.org, to have such a positive impact on participants.
Articles: The Cooperative InstinctBy Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | September 21, 2012
A new study finds that our first, quickest impulse is to cooperate, not compete.
A recent gathering of compassion researchers reveals new discoveries about how and why humans help each other.
What I learned at the recent International Symposium for Contemplative Studies.
Articles: How Does Religion Shape Compassion?By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | May 9, 2012
A GGSC-sponsored study found that compassion is less important for moving religious people to perform acts of kindness. But that doesn't mean they are less compassionate!
New research suggests how to coach—and be coached—more effectively.
A scientific controversy about the relationship between meaning and happiness raises fundamental questions about how to live a good life.
A new study finds a biological mechanism behind “thank you"—and reveals one way that it bonds couples together.
Greater Good Events
UC Berkeley Campus, International House
April 4, 2014
A day-long seminar for health care professionals featuring Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D., and Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.
» ALL EVENTS
Take a Greater Good Quiz!
How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!» TAKE A QUIZ
Dr. Christine Carter's blog on the science of raising happy kids.» READ MORE
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”...
- Center for Investigating Healthy Minds
The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, runs a state-of-the-art neuroscience...
- Northeast Foundation for Children
Northeast Foundation for Children is a non-profit educational organization that offers educators the Responsive Classroom...
- Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship
Based at the University of Michigan Business School, this is a networking community for researchers and practitioners...
Book of the Week
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SponsorsSpecial thanks to
The Quality of Life Foundation for its support of the Greater Good Science Center
Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program