Pharrell's feeling "Happy," but how about you? In honor of the UN's International Day of Happiness on March 20, we're delving into what it is that makes us happy and why we should strive for happiness — or not. Christine Carter, sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, shares what it is that makes us most happy.
In The News
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.
Jason Marsh, editor at GGSC talks about forgiveness, optimism, and compassion after a tragic event.
GGSC's Dacher Keltner works with Arthuro Bejar, a Facebook engineer who heads the compassion research, on Stickers.
The GGSC's Jeremy Adam Smith appears on "Forum" with former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich to discuss the widening income disparity between elementary school PTAs. In San Francisco, PTA fundraising for elementary schools has increased by nearly 800 percent over the past decade, and many local schools raise hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from parents. But where does that leave schools with predominantly low-income students, whose parents may not be able to afford to chip in? Is the disparity in private funding among public schools widening the gap between rich and poor?
An unprecedented alliance between UC Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA, and Cal Tech aims to remedy a seemingly intractable nationwide problem: Too few underrepresented minority Ph.D. students in the mathematical, physical and computer sciences and in engineering are advancing to postdoctoral and faculty ranks at top-tier research universities.
“A sense of community and belonging are important aspects of any academic endeavor,” GGSC director and Berkeley professor Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton said, “and mentorship and feeling support from one’s mentors are important predictors of a student’s success and choice of profession." Mendoza-Denton is research director for the Alliance’s data collection and analysis work.
GGSC's founder, Dacher Keltner, and science director, Emiliana Simon-Thomas, help Facebook adopt new, research-tested social resolution tools.
Greater Good education director Vicki Zakrzewski helps explain the science behind the success of the Mindful Life Project, an initiative to establish meditation and mindfulness programs in elementary schools.
Professor Peter Blake of Boston University looks at what motivates kids to be generous. Funded by the GGSC's Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude project.
ABC 7 News covers Facebook's Fourth Annual Compassion Research Day, including presentations from Greater Good's founding faculty director, Dacher Keltner, and science director, Emiliana Simon-Thomas.
Judging by the ways that our brains and bodies respond, it seems humans may be wired for music. And the GGSC's Development Director, Jesse Antin, is keyed in to that fact
New research from a GGSC Gratitude Dissertation Fellow sheds new light on the psychological and social forces – such as fairness, obligation, and reciprocity – that guide consumer decisions beyond getting the best deal
Researchers in the burgeoning field of gratitude science are finding a host of psychological and physical benefits associated with feeling and expressing thankfulness
Freshmen who have more self-compassion — the degree to which people kindly treat themselves during distressing situations — better cope with the challenges associated with transitioning into college
The poor tend to value social connections, psychologists say. But as people become wealthy, they need one another less and — according to some scientists — make fewer connections. GGSC's Dacher Keltner on the generosity divide between rich and poor.
Vicki Zakrzewski, education director at the GGSC, says that there is a strong relationship between cognitive development and empathy.
GGSC Director Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton on Minnesota Public Radio discussing the science of bias
In response to George Saunder's commencement speech promoting kindness above all other life achievements, Dacher Keltner speaks with KQED's "Forum" on how and why to be kind
GGSC's Jason Marsh on how compassion can spark action after tragedy.
NewsHour talks to GGSC Founding Faculty Director Dacher Keltner about why those feel less well-off tend to act more charitably.
The PBS NewsHour profiles the GGSC in this segment on the link between money and happiness.
An interview with Jeremy Adam-Smith on gratitude in the workplace.
Jason Marsh explains why some are as heroic as London's Ingrid Loyau-Kennett.
Sustainable Brands explains the GGSC's new Compassionate Organizations Quiz
What does it take to foster compassion in men? To find out, Kozo Hattori interviewed scientific and spiritual experts.
A new study compares the effects of sitting meditation, body scan, and mindful yoga on health and well-being.
Greater Good Events
Take a Greater Good Quiz!
How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!» TAKE A QUIZ
Dr. Christine Carter's blog on the science of raising happy kids.» READ MORE
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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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