Winter 2009 (Volume V, Issue 3)


Why Make Art?

New research suggests the arts may boost students’ academic performance, but many scientists aren’t convinced. So what are the arts good for these days? This issue considers therapeutic, emotional, cognitive, and other benefits of the arts.

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From The Editors

From the Editors: Winter 2009 (01)

By Jason Marsh | December 1, 2008


In Brief

Levi Johnston, 18, kisses Trig, brother of his girlfriend Bristol Palin, 17, as he holds him during the Republican National Convention in September. Weeks earlier, Ms. Palin had announced she as pregnant, and that Mr. Johnston was the father.

Parents Don’t Preach (02)

By | December 1, 2008

How can we get teens to practice safe sex?


Sick with Happiness (03)

By | December 1, 2008


What Happy People Do (04)

By | December 1, 2008


Is Happiness Good for Your Health? (05)

By | December 1, 2008


Sweet Charity (06)

By | December 1, 2008


Can Kids Feel Your Pain? (07)

By | December 1, 2008


Meditating for a Better Tomorrow (08)

By | December 1, 2008


Grow with the Flow (09)

By | December 1, 2008


Playing Favorites (10)

By | December 1, 2008


Brain Teaser

Guest Column

Yes, You Can (12)

By | December 1, 2008

New research suggests we can build our willpower.



Gina Gibney's choreography has been widely presented in the United States and Abroad.

Why We Make Art (13)

By | December 1, 2008

Seven artists explain why they write, rap, take photos, draw, dance, and make movies.



Arts and Smarts (14)

By | December 1, 2008

At a time when educators are preoccupied with standards, testing, and the bottom line, some researchers suggest the arts can boost students’ test scores; others aren’t convinced. Karin Evans asks, What are the arts good for?


The Birth of the Arts (15)

By | December 1, 2008

Throughout our history, humans have felt compelled to make art. Ellen Dissanayake explains why.


Wired for Music (16)

By | December 1, 2008


Changing our Minds (17)

By | December 1, 2008

By imagining many possible worlds, argues novelist and psychologist Keith Oatley, fiction helps us understand ourselves and others.


Art vs. Non-Art (18)

By | December 1, 2008


Does Art Heal? (19)

By | December 1, 2008

At Shands HealthCare in Florida, artists and physicians have been partners for 18 years, reports Meera Lee Sethi. Their program is helping to prove the clinical benefits of creativity.


Medicine at the Museum (20)

By | December 1, 2008


Global Compassion (22)

By | December 1, 2008

A conversation between the Dalai Lama and Paul Ekman


Bhutan at a Crossroads (23)

By | December 1, 2008

Can one of the world’s happiest countries survive the 21st century?


Tools for the Greater Good

Everyday Art (21)

By | December 1, 2008

Christine Carter reveals six steps for boosting kids' creativity.


Book Reviews

Scientists have looked to other primates for the roots of human violence, but other research finds the potential for peace.

Beyond Sex and Violence (24)

By | December 1, 2008

Sex and War: How Biology Explains Warfare and Terrorism and Offers a Path to a Safer World
by Malcolm Pott s and Thomas Hayden
Benbella Books, 2008, 457 pages

Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory
by Randall Co llins
Princeton University Press, 2008, 584 pages


Book Review: Happiness (25)

By | December 1, 2008

by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener
Wiley-Blackwell, 2008, 304 pages


Book Review: Loneliness (26)

By | December 1, 2008

by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick
W.W. Norton & Company, 2008, 317 pages


Book Review: Rock, Paper, Scissors (27)

By | December 1, 2008

by Len Fisher
Basic Books, 2008, 288 pages


Book Review: Positive Psychology at the Movies (28)

By | December 1, 2008

by Ryan M. Niemiec and Danny Wedding
Hogrefe, 2008, 308 pages


Pop Culture Review

The HBO series  In Treatment  follows the work of psychotherapist Paul Westin, played by Gabriel Byrne.

Pop Treatment (29)

By | December 1, 2008

How do TV therapy sessions measure up to real life?


Ideas for the Greater Good

Are We Post-Racial Yet? (30)

By | December 1, 2008




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.

Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.
"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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