What's Your Brain Like on the Greater Good?

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Does the Death Penalty Bring Closure?

From CNN.COM | May 21, 2015

GGSC's Jason Marsh on why the severe sentence brought down on the Boston Bomber may not help his victims heal.


Past Stories

Interview: Emiliana Simon-Thomas, UC Berkeley’s happiness guru

From The Daily Cal | September 12, 2014

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.


A Free Online Course on the Science of Happiness is Now Underway

From Mindful.org | September 10, 2014

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.


Free Online Course On The Science Of Happiness Is About To Begin

From The Huffington Post | September 8, 2014

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.


Ten Most Popular MOOCs

From Class Central | 9/1/2014

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.


Cal Launches “Science of Happiness” Course

From NBC Bay Area | August 30, 2014

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.


Charting the Science of Happiness

From The Monthly | 8/29/2014

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.


Happiness 101

From Live Happy | August 28, 2014

September marks the inaugural run of The Science of Happiness, a free online class for happiness seekers worldwide.


More than 76,000 sign up for Science of Happiness MOOC

From UC Berkeley NewsCenter | August 21, 2014

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.


The Science of Being Happy

From Sacramento News & Review | 8/7/14

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


Free UC Berkeley Course Teaches “The Science of Happiness”

From RockItFuel Radio | July 19, 2014

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.


Quit worrying: 4 keys to a cop’s mental and emotional wellbeing

From PoliceOne | June 25, 2014

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. People who worry too much often view life as overwhelmingly complex, but the solutions to stop worrying are quite simple.


Why It’s Imperative to Teach Empathy to Boys

From KQED: Mind/Shift | June 25, 2014

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 Benefits of Generosity

From Huffington Post | June 13, 2014

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!


For Today’s Kids, Achievement and Happiness Trumps Caring For Others

From GreatSchools | July 10, 2014

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. In a moment when the country is engaged in a knockdown about education standards, the middle class is disappearing, and there’s a steady drumbeat about our children’s lack of global competitiveness, this news shouldn’t surprise us.


Science of Happiness MOOC captivates millenials

From UC Berkeley News Center | June 30, 2014

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.


UC Berkeley “Science of Happiness” course attracts 50,000 online students

From San Francisco Business Times | June 30, 2014

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.


Gratitude Summit Explores the Queen of the Virtues

From Templeton Report | June 26, 2014

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.


UC Berkeley offers open online course on the Science of Happiness

From Daily Cal | June 3, 2014

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.


Happiness Isn’t Just a Warm Puppy—UC Berkeley is First to Make it an Online Course

From Cal Alumni Association | June 23, 2014

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.


Positive Psychology Begets Positive Technology

From Forbes.com | June 5, 2014

A bevy of new tech geared towards mental wellness, including the Greater Good Science Center's "Science of Happiness" MOOC.


Can Happiness Become the World’s Most Popular Course?

From Forbes | May 13, 2014

UC Berkeley’s “The Science of Happiness” is poised to make history in online education. Why?


James Doty’s Helper’s High

From Nautilus | May 15, 2014

He gave away his last $30 million and felt free—a case study in altruism.


Why Tens of Thousands of People Are Signing Up for the GGSC’s Happiness Course

From Huffington Post | April 23, 2014

The course emphasizes two main (scientifically-proven) keys to happiness: Strong social ties, and a sense of purpose or connection to the greater good.


Ever felt ‘happily disgusted’? Computer maps 21 distinct facial expressions

From | March 31, 2014

GGSC's Dacher Keltner talks about identifying facial expressions to potentially aid with diagnosis and treatment of conditions such as depression or autism.


David Einhorn’s Focus on Empathy

From Inside Philanthropy | March 27, 2014

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.”


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Greater Good Events

The Science of Happiness

Self-Paced Course Is Now Live! Take It at Your Own Pace Through May 2015

The Science of Happiness

An unprecedented free online course exploring the roots of a happy, meaningful life. Co-taught by the GGSC’s Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas. Up to 16 CE credit hours available.


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

The Path to Purpose By William Damon Looks at how children are hampered in their search for meaning, and how concerned adults can help them find it.

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"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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