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Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas

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 earned her doctorate in Cognition Brain and Behavior at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation used behavioral and neuroscience methods to examined how negative states like fear and aversion influence thinking and decision-making. During her postdoc, Emiliana transitioned to studying pro-social states like love of humanity, compassion, and awe. From there, Emiliana served as Associate Director/Senior Scientist at CCARE (the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University), focusing on how compassion benefits health, well-being, and psychosocial functioning.

Today, Emiliana’s work spotlights the science that connects health and happiness to social affiliation, caregiving, and collaborative relationships, as she continues to examine the potential for – as well as the benefits of – living a more meaningful life.

 
 
  

Stories by Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas

A presentation by Emiliana Simon-Thomas on the science of gratitude and how it can be applied in the classroom, given July 2, 2014, at the Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators.

Videos and Podcasts: Emiliana Simon-Thomas on Gratitude for Educators (SIE14)

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | July 2, 2014

A presentation by Emiliana Simon-Thomas on the science of gratitude and how it can be applied in the classroom, given July 2, 2014, at the Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators.

 
A presentation by Emiliana Simon-Thomas on the evolutionary and neurobiological foundations of pro-social behavior, given June 28, 2014, at the Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators.

Videos and Podcasts: Emiliana Simon-Thomas on Reclaiming Our Biological Endowment for Kindness (SIE14)

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | June 28, 2014

A presentation by Emiliana Simon-Thomas on the evolutionary and neurobiological foundations of pro-social behavior, given June 28, 2014, at the Greater Good Science Center Summer Institute for Educators.

 
The GGSC’s science director leads a session at the Greater Good Gratitude Summit about the physical, social, and mental health benefits of gratitude, featuring new insights from four leading researchers: Christina Karns, Wendy Berry Mendes, Jeff Huffman, and Philip Watkins.

Videos and Podcasts: The Gratitude Effect

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | June 7, 2014

The GGSC’s science director leads a session at the Greater Good Gratitude Summit about the physical, social, and mental health benefits of gratitude, featuring new insights from four leading researchers: Christina Karns, Wendy Berry Mendes, Jeff Huffman, and Philip Watkins.

 
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: The Biology of Mindfulness and Compassion

By 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.

 
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.

Videos and Podcasts: Emiliana Simon-Thomas on Gratitude for Educators

By 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.

 

Articles: Think Your Organization Is Compassionate?

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Emily Nauman | July 3, 2013

See how it compares with the results from our Compassionate Organizations Quiz.

 

Articles: Here’s How Much You Love Humanity

By 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 Compassion

By 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.

 
The GGSC's coverage of gratitude is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation as part of our Expanding Gratitude project.

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 Away

By 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 Instinct

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | September 21, 2012

A new study finds that our first, quickest impulse is to cooperate, not compete.

 

Articles: Three Insights from the Cutting Edge of Compassion Research

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | September 7, 2012

A recent gathering of compassion researchers reveals new discoveries about how and why humans help each other.

 
University of Wisconsin neuroscientist Richie Davidson delivering his ISCS "master lecture" on the neuroscience of compassion.

Articles: Three Insights about Compassion, Meditation, and the Brain

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | May 15, 2012

What I learned at the recent International Symposium for Contemplative Studies.

 
Help for the poor at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Nepal.

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!

 

Articles: Do team victories feel better than individual victories?

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | December 1, 2008

 

Articles: Do the shorter days of winter really make us depressed?

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | September 1, 2008

 

Articles: Is Kindness Really Its Own Reward?

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | June 1, 2008

 

Articles: Are There Differences Between Liberal and Conservative Brains?

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | March 1, 2008

 

Articles: Does Sleeping Well Make Us More Socially Adept?

By Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas | December 1, 2007

 

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Greater Good Events

Self-Compassion & the Cultivation of Happiness with Kristin Neff
International House, UC Berkeley campus
November 7, 2014


Self-Compassion & the Cultivation of Happiness with Kristin Neff

This day-long seminar led by self-compassion pioneer Kristin Neff, will offer strategies for cultivating self-compassion, boosting happiness, and reducing stress in yourself and others.


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