Human nature is often portrayed as selfish and power hungry, but research by Dacher Keltner finds that we are hard-wired to be kind.
In The News
Want to know how biology and psychology affect love, relationships and sex? On Valentine's Day, we asked your questions about the "science behind love" to three renowned psychologists/neuroscientists at UC Berkeley: Arthur Aron, Robert Levenson and Emiliana Simon-Thomas.
For the final episode of BetterWorldians Radio’s Gratitude Series, the team talked with the Greater Good Science Center about its Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude project. Science Director Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas discussed the fascinating research being done about the benefits of gratitude and how it’s improving lives and relationships.
The holidays aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be and between the mass marketing that creates a “reality” that no sane human can live up to, and the baggage we bring from the other 364 days of the season, it can be a bit much. Minnesota Public Radio talks to GGSC's Emiliana Simon-Thomas about holiday expectations and realities.
Dacher Keltner helps us discover how the feeling of awe can make us humbler, kinder, and more altruistic.
GGSC Science Director Emiliana Simon-Thomas on why showing gratitude at work is so important.
As the holiday season begins, appreciation in its many facets is the topic of a one-hour radio special on “The Science of Gratitude” produced by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and Ben Manilla Productions.
Greater Good web editor Jeremy Adam Smith writes about how our brains are hard-wired to exaggerate threats and what that may mean for foreign policy.
Studying how gratitude impacts lives is some of the most important research being done today because gratitude costs so little compared to the benefits it offers.
Encouraging employees to take time out of a busy workday to enjoy some deep breathing and self-compassion seems antithetical to the hard-charging, high-tech nature of modern American business. Then again, the hard-charging way, mindfulness proponents say, has made many American workplaces toxic and draining.
In this age of constant distractions and long hours, it’s difficult to find even a few minutes of time to reflect. Yet finding that time and space can help ease the stresses of your demanding working life. Greater Good Editorial Director Jason Marsh discusses the benefits of mindfulness at work in an interview with Berkeley Wellness.
Obsessing about happiness often makes people more melancholy and lonely—and could even increase the risk of depression and bipolar disorder. In fact, several studies suggest that wanting to be happy may be counterproductive for the health of Americans. But does the same paradox exist elsewhere?
Why high school students are signing up for online classes in advance of college--including the GGSC's "The Science of Happiness."
Researchers think of happiness as having satisfaction and meaning in your life. It’s the propensity to feel positive emotions, the capacity to recover from negative emotions quickly, and holding a sense of purpose. Happiness is not having a lot of privilege or money. It’s not constant pleasure. It’s a broader thing: Our ability to connect with others, to have meaningful relationships, to have a community.
We are often told that we can be happy, if we try hard enough. By shifting our mindset, changing our lifestyles, or even writing a gratitude journal – happiness is waiting for all of us! But, what does science say? To find out, science journalist Wendy Zukerman speaks to Prof. Paul Frijters, Ass. Prof. Dianne Vella Brodrick and Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas. We’re also joined by the author of "The Happiness Myth," Jennifer Michael Hecht, as well as comedian Gen Fricker.
Happiness, resilience, connection, and kindness: these aren't just central qualities of a well-lived life, but skills that can be taught and developed over time—with practice.
Research-based strategies to help you appreciate this life
GGSC Founder Dacher Keltner and emotions expert Paul Ekman on the emotional life of Pixar's "Inside Out."
A growing body of research suggests that negative emotions and thoughts may also have links to other serious health problems, like heart disease.
GGSC Faculty Advisor Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton on the physical and social tolls of prejudice... and what we can do about it.
The creators of Pixar’s new film Inside Out weren’t just speculating when they broke human emotions into five distinct categories (and corresponding animated characters). The idea that we feel a limited number of emotions—joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and possibly a few others—is grounded in scientific research. To learn more about this spectrum, Fusion spoke with Dr. Dacher Keltner, whom the film’s creators consulted about the science of emotions. In this animated short, Keltner shares his insights on the unique nature of happiness—which, it turns out, is more altruistic than you might think.
GGSC's Jason Marsh on why the severe sentence brought down on the Boston Bomber may not help his victims heal.
New York Magazine's Science of Us column covers Jill Suttie's story on recent research on the power of moral elevation
Read about awe's role in the science of cognition, mental health, personal growth, and emotions--featuring our own Dacher Keltner!
GGSC Director Dacher Keltner on his research into the biological and evolutionary origins of compassion, awe, love, beauty, social class, and inequality...and how some of those manifest in sport.
Listen to a KALW/NPR podcast on diversity (or the lack thereof) in schools, featuring our own Jeremy Adam Smith.
Recent research sheds light on a question that obsesses many people.
A new review of many studies suggests that our personality isn't as unchangeable as we think.
A 20-year study of consensually non-monogamous adults reveals seven lessons for anyone who wants to keep love alive.
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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