Summer 2007 (Volume IV, Issue 1)


Building Gratitude

Groundbreaking research has revealed that practicing gratitude can lead to transformative life changes. More than a simple “thank you,” studies show gratitude can build physical health, personal happiness, and strong social bonds. This issue of Greater Good explores how this research can apply to everyday life, from romantic relationships to children s classrooms. This issue also marks the debut of a few new departments in Greater Good, including a column by co-editor Dacher Keltner in which he helps readers understand the emotions conveyed by their body language.

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From The Editors

In Brief

The robot Kismet expresses (clockwise from bottom left) fear, anger, and surprise.

Can Robots Feel Your Pain? (02)

By | June 1, 2007

Not yet, but empathic androids are the next wave in robotics.


The Power of One (03)

By | June 1, 2007


By the Numbers (04)

By | June 1, 2007

What's good on TV?


The Path to Forgiveness (05)

By | June 1, 2007


Green With Empathy (06)

By | June 1, 2007


Body Language (08)

By | June 1, 2007

Dacher Keltner reveals the science behind everyday gestures


The Quiet Diet (09)

By | June 1, 2007


The Circle of Security (10)

By | June 1, 2007

New programs help at-risk parents tune in to what their children really need.


Brain Teaser

Are women more empathic than men? (07)

By | June 1, 2007



The Politics of Gratitude (11)

By | June 1, 2007

An interview with Iraq’s former ambassador to the United States, Rend Al-Rahim Francke



Pay it Forward (12)

By | June 1, 2007

Gratitude may seem like a simple emotion, but Robert Emmons argues that it inspires kindness, connection, and transformative life changes. And he’s done the research to prove it.


The Art of the Thank You (13)

By | June 1, 2007


Stumbling toward Gratitude (14)

By | June 1, 2007

New research suggests gratitude is a key to health and happiness, but Catherine Price wanted to find out for herself.


Shallow Gratitude (16)

By | June 1, 2007


Love, Honor, and Thank (17)

By | June 1, 2007

Researchers Jess Alberts and Angela Trethewey have found that a successful relationship doesn’t just depend on how partners divide their household chores, but on how they each express gratitude for the work the other one puts in.


A Lesson in Thanks (19)

By | June 1, 2007

Psychologist Jeffrey Froh infused middle-school classes with a small dose of gratitude—and found that it made students feel more connected to their friends, family, and their school.


Hope on the Battlefield (20)

By | June 1, 2007

Military leaders know a secret: The vast majority of people are overwhelmingly reluctant to take a human life.


Mindful Kids, Peaceful Schools (21)

By | June 1, 2007

With eyes closed and deep breaths, students are learning a new method to reduce anxiety, conflict, and attention disorders. But don’t call it meditation.


Tools for the Greater Good

Four Ways to Give Thanks (15)

By | June 1, 2007


How to Avoid Labor Pains (18)

By | June 1, 2007


Book Reviews

The Dalai Lama talks with neuroscientist Helen Neville at his residence in Dharamsala, India, as part of the 12th Mind & Life conference.

Change Your Mind and Your Brain Will Follow (22)

By | June 1, 2007

The Dalai Lama at MIT
Edited by Anne Harrington and Arthur Zajonc
Harvard University Press, 2006, 304 pages

Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves
By Sharon Begley
Ballantine Books, 2007, 304 pages


Book Review: The Power of Play (23)

By | June 1, 2007

By David Elkind
Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2007, 240 pages


Book Review: Why Good Things Happen to Good People (24)

By | June 1, 2007

By Stephen Post and Jill Neimark
Broadway Books, 2007, 320 pages


Book Review: The Mark of Shame (25)

By | June 1, 2007

By Stephen P. Hinshaw
Oxford University Press, 2007, 352 pages


Book Review: Alone Together (26)

By | June 1, 2007

By Paul R. Amato, Alan Booth, David R. Johnson, and Stacy J. Rogers
Harvard University Press, 2007, 336 pages


Pop Culture Review

A makeshift memorial board in the Battlestar Galactica reminds the crew of their sacrifices.

Altruism in Space (27)

By | June 1, 2007

What does the science-fiction series Battlestar Galactica teach us about human nature?


Ideas for the Greater Good

Invitation to the Dance (28)

By | June 1, 2007




Greater Good Events

Mindful Self-Compassion: Core Skills Training
International House
December 9-10, 2016

Mindful Self-Compassion: Core Skills Training

This workshop is an introduction to Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), an empirically-supported training program based on the pioneering research of Kristin Neff and the clinical perspective of Chris Germer.


Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!


Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.


Greater Good Resources


Book of the Week

How Pleasure Works By Paul Bloom Bloom explores a broad range of human pleasures from food to sex to religion to music. Bloom argues that human pleasure is not purely an instinctive, superficial, sensory reaction; it has a hidden depth and complexity.

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"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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