If you take a quick inventory of all the wealthy people and CEOs who’ve made news by being complete, heartless jerks, you’re left with a pretty simple question: who put them in charge? One narrative: Ruthless people win, so it’s the jerks who float to the top. The counter-narrative: power makes us act bad. Most explanations land on some marriage of the narratives, but our next guest has a radically different approach: it’s things like kindness and compassion that make us powerful in our society – but that power makes us the opposite of kind and compassionate.
In The News
Dr. Keltner is a renowned expert in the biological and evolutionary origins of human emotions and he studies awe, compassion, beauty and love.
Help your teen through depression.
Boost your resilience at work by practicing mindfulness.
Nearly everyone afforded power misunderstands or forgets the behaviors that fueled their rise.
Learn what mindfulness is really about and what it can do for you.
In the past, violence was the quickest route to establishing dominance. But today, people gain influence by advancing the welfare of others, according to Dacher Keltner. The more power people derive from helping others, however, the more likely they are to prioritize selfishness over altruism -- leading to what Keltner calls a ‘power paradox.’ Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.
In order to be a better leader, listen to others.
"People who tell more coherent stories about their lives, with clear plot lines, characters, and themes, find greater purpose later in life."
Dacher Keltner claims that a person’s ability to empathize is what helps him or her reach a position of authority.
Should we push meditation in schools?
A new theory suggests being nice can gain us influence, but at a cost.
Negative thoughts and emotions could cause health problems.
How to be happier at work.
'The Power Paradox' illuminates ways women can hone their innate advantages—and avoid the pitfalls—on all the playing fields.
GGSC Director and Berkeley Psychology Professor Dacher Keltner explains how we gain, use, abuse, and lose power in an interview with radio's "The Takeaway."
Dacher Keltner talks about his new book, The Power Paradox, with The A2A Alliance.
Dacher Keltner posits that our influence is based not on veiled or naked power grabs, but on virtues such as empathy, generosity and cooperation.
Social psychologist Dacher Keltner, author of The Power Paradox, says the key to success is changing. The Machiavellian rule of the Lannisters is less effective than ground-up collaboration
An argument about whether powerful people behave better or worse than others is shaking the world of experimental psychology. Matthew Sweet investigates
GGSC's Jason Marsh and Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas explain the science of gratitude.
On February 29, 2016 host Joseph Pace and guests explore the ways Bay Area companies are incorporating mindfulness into the workplace
GGSC's Dacher Keltner uses the science of cooperation and compassion to empower Twitter users to engage in more productive free speech.
How GGSC's Dacher Keltner helped conceive and design Facebook's new reaction buttons.
An interview with GGSC's education director, Vicki Zakrzewski
GGSC director Dacher Keltner is co-author of a new research paper showing that stable virtuous traits enhance the ability to convert power into influence, at least when it comes to the 151 members of the U.S. Senate who served between January 1989 and December 1998.
Being kind to yourself can make the difference between a good divorce and a bad one.
Bad behavior is often a sign that children are stressed—and punishment isn’t the best solution.
According to a new study, our feelings about aging can influence our emotional reactions to everyday stress.
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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...
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Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program