Our friends at the University of California at Berkeley are here to debunk some of the most common happiness myths and provide guidance on finding joy that are based on research findings in psychology and neuroscience.
In The News
Emiliana Simon-Thomas chats with the Daily Cal about the ins and outs of happiness, if it can be learned, and why so many Millennials — including at least 2,500 from UC Berkeley — signed up for the course.
On September 9, Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center is launching a free eight-week Science of Happiness course that will offer practical, research-backed tips on living a happy and meaningful life.
We all want to be happy, and there are countless ideas about what happiness is and how we can get some. But not many of those ideas are based on science. That’s where this course comes in.
What is the secret to happiness? It’s a question people have been asking for ages. Scholars at UC Berkeley are launching a massive open online course to help answer that question. It's called "The Science of Happiness," and it's starting on Sept. 9. 82,000 students have already signed up. Lead instructor Emiliana Simon-Thomas joins Vicky Nguyen in studio to discuss the course.
How can writing a list of things for which you are grateful lead to a healthier immune system and better sleep? Why is spending money on someone else better for your sense of well-being than buying something for yourself? And ultimately, what's the best way to spread the word about these scientific findings regarding happiness to tens of thousands of students across the globe? Those kinds of questions lie at the heart of the Science of Happiness online course offered by UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, starting Sept. 9.
September marks the inaugural run of The Science of Happiness, a free online class for happiness seekers worldwide.
Happiness is a powerful magnet, judging by the number of people who have signed up to take UC Berkeley’s new Science of Happiness Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): More than 76,000, with more than two weeks to go before the class goes live.
In the early 2000s, instead of obsessing on human failings and flaws as psychologists had previously done (think Freud), a new group of professionals suggested a shift in emphasis to what makes humans strong, gritty, resilient … happy. Thanks to pioneers like Martin Seligman, Robert Emmons, and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, a new field of psychology was born with its best-selling books, national summits and contentment gurus. Developments in the field have only accelerated since then. In fact, science has discovered that we humans can actually be taught many (sometimes unexpected) things about happiness
UC Berkeley psychology professor and GGSC founder Dacher Keltner discusses happiness, gratitude, the field of positive psychology, and GGSC's upcoming "Science of Happiness" MOOC on RockItFuel Radio.
Environmental and relationship stimuli trigger emotional and chemical responses that can alter our mood, influence the chemistry of our body and brain, and even affect our immune system. For some, the response is momentary, lasting only long enough to avoid or overcome the threat. For others, however, it goes beyond the fight-or-flight response in meeting the threat and sets off obsessive rumination — worry.
Assigning genders to toys harms boys, as well. Too often children’s playrooms reinforce gender stereotypes that put boys at risk of failing to gain skills critical for success in life and work. The most important of these? Empathy.
The Dalai Lama famously said, "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The same is certainly true for generosity!
Only 20 percent of the students said that caring for others was the most essential. That left 80 percent of kids who ranked achievement and their personal happiness as top priorities.
Millennials are less likely to marry, vote, follow a religion or stick to one job. And right now, the demographic cohort aged 18 to 33 is signing up in droves for UC Berkeley’s new Science of Happiness Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
Photo courtesy of Humans of Berkeley.
Hosted by the University of California at Berkeley, an online course on fostering and practicing happiness has attracted over 50,000 students so far--and it doesn't even start until September.
Studies have repeatedly confirmed that gratitude lies at the heart of joy. The Greater Good Gratitude Summit explored gratitude as an ancient source of wisdom as well as a modern object of study, and dove into its relationships with positive emotions, social relationships, physical health, and its role as a key driver of a larger social good.
Students around the world will soon be able to study the intricacies behind turning frowns upside down in a new online course to be offered by UC Berkeley this fall.
40% of your happiness is up to you. The team at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center is pioneering the nation's first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the Science of Happiness to show you how.
A bevy of new tech geared towards mental wellness, including the Greater Good Science Center's "Science of Happiness" MOOC.
UC Berkeley’s “The Science of Happiness” is poised to make history in online education. Why?
He gave away his last $30 million and felt free—a case study in altruism.
The course emphasizes two main (scientifically-proven) keys to happiness: Strong social ties, and a sense of purpose or connection to the greater good.
GGSC's Dacher Keltner talks about identifying facial expressions to potentially aid with diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as depression or autism.
Greater Good funder the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust was created “to inspire a movement of empathetic citizens who, with mutual respect and understanding, ultimately build an increasingly civil society.”
Jason Marsh, Greater Good's editor in chief, talks about forgiveness, optimism, and compassion after a tragic event.
A new study suggests that self-compassion improves mood, largely by helping us avoid negative rumination.
Can we stop bullying? Signe Whitson says yes—by consistently reaching out to both children who bully and those who are bullied.
Are parents really less happy than non-parents, as many recent books and studies have suggested? New research finds that the truth is surprising and complicated.
Greater Good Events
September 25, 2014
Author Joshua Shenk in Conversation on creativity and dynamic duos with cofounder of Mother Jones, Adam Hochschild
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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”...
- 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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Dr. Christine Carter's blog on the science of raising happy kids.» READ MORE
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