News & Events
The Science of a Meaningful Life: Building Compassion, Creating Well-Being
February 9, 2009
This one-day seminar will cover strategies for building resilience, reducing stress, and strengthening relationships with colleagues, clients, family, and friends
This one-day seminar will cover strategies for building resilience, reducing stress, and strengthening relationships with colleagues, clients, family, and friends. Drawing on cutting-edge research from psychology and neuroscience, renowned UC Berkeley professor Dacher Keltner will highlight the strong connections between happiness, compassion, and altruism, showing how a meaningful life isn’t just good, but good for you. His presentation will reveal the health and social benefits that come from practicing trust, empathy, gratitude, kindness, and other positive behaviors. For instance, cultivating feelings of gratitude have been shown to boost people’s health, make them happier, and improve their relationships. He will also provide a deeper understanding of people who have trouble forming relationships, such as those with social disorders like autism.
The seminar will feature a short presentation by legendary psychologist Paul Ekman, hailed as one of the 20th century’s most influential psychologists. Building on his groundbreaking work on emotion and facial expressions, and on his recent collaboration with the Dalai Lama, Dr. Ekman will discuss various forms of empathy and compassion, including the prospect of “global compassion”—concern for and commitment to people beyond one’s immediate family or community. His talk will further help attendees understand the paths—and the challenges—to developing a meaningful life.
Attendees Will Learn To:
• Be conversant in the latest research on social and emotional intelligence, drawing from neuroscience and positive psychology
• Understand how to apply this research to personal and professional relationships
• Empathize and communicate more effectively with family members, friends, clients, colleagues, and others by being more attuned to their social and emotional cues
• Be better equipped to diagnose different disorders like depression and autism
• Develop effective ways to handle stress, build resilience, and cultivate happiness in their personal and professional lives
8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Registration and check in
9:00 - 10:30 The evolution and neuroscience of social well-being
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 12:00 Compassion, empathy, and gratitude as paths to social
well-being and the meaningful life
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:00 - 1:45 Paul Ekman, PhD, on “heroic” and “global” compassion
1:45 - 2:00 Break
2:00 - 3:00 Breakdowns in social and emotional well-being: autism,
depression, antisocial disorder
3:00 - 3:15 Break
3:15 - 4:30 Practical steps toward cultivating the meaningful life for
yourself, friends, family, and clients
The Greater Good Speaker Series
The Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) is an interdisciplinary research center, based at UC Berkeley, that explores the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior.
Its “Science of a Meaningful Life” speaker series is designed to help audiences apply groundbreaking scientific findings to their personal and professional lives, especially for mental health workers and other care providers. Each event in the series features a day-long talk by a member of the GGSC, including Research Director Dacher Keltner, and a guest presentation by a renowned expert in the field of social and emotional well-being.
The Greater Good Science Center, the Quality of Life Foundation, R. Cassidy Seminars, and the International House at UC Berkeley.
This seminar is approved for 6 CE credit hours.
Psychologists R. Cassidy Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. R. Cassidy Seminars maintains responsibility for this program. (6) CE hours.
Social Workers CA: Course meets the qualifications for (6) hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider #PCE418. This course provides 6 CE hours.
Marriage and Family Therapists CA: Course meets the qualifications for (6) hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider #PCE418. This course provides 6 CE hours.
Chemical Dependency Counselors CA: Provider approved by CAADAC, Provider #4N-00-434-0210 for (6) CEHs.
Occupational Therapists: Occupational therapists will receive a certificate of completion for 6 PDUs.
Nurses - CA: Provider approved by the CA Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP12224, for (6) contact hours.
Greater Good's editors pick this year’s most thought-provoking, important, or useful nonfiction books on the science of a meaningful life.
Christine Carter explains how to shorten your to-do list and feel more motivated to tackle it, all at once.
A new book examines the common psychological barriers to change—and how to overcome them.
Greater Good Events
December 9-10, 2016
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.
» ALL EVENTS
Take a Greater Good Quiz!
How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!» TAKE A QUIZ
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”...
- 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
» READ MORE
Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program