Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life

Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life

by Dacher Keltner, Keltner
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Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life by Dacher Keltner, Keltner

“A landmark book in the science of emotions and its implications for ethics and human universals.”—Library Journal, starred review
In this startling study of human emotion, Dacher Keltner investigates an unanswered question of human evolution: If humans are hardwired to lead lives that are “nasty, brutish, and short,” why have we evolved with positive emotions like gratitude, amusement, awe, and compassion that promote ethical action and cooperative societies? Illustrated with more than fifty photographs of human emotions, Born to Be Good takes us on a journey through scientific discovery, personal narrative, and Eastern philosophy. Positive emotions, Keltner finds, lie at the core of human nature and shape our everyday behavior—and they just may be the key to understanding how we can live our lives better.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393337136
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/05/2009
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 360,610
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dacher Keltner is Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught social psychology for the past 21 years and is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award for Letters and Sciences. His research focuses on the prosocial emotions (such as love, sympathy, and gratitude), morality, and power. Other awards include the Western Psychological Association’s award for outstanding contribution to research, the Positive Psychology Prize for excellence in research, and the Distinguished Mentoring Award at UC Berkeley. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. In 2008, the Utne Reader listed Dacher as one of the 50 visionaries changing the world.

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Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had a more hopeful view of humanity after reading this book. The author presents scientific findings from positive psychology in an engaging and accessible way. Many parts of the book had me chuckling. The main thesis is that humans have evolved to be cooperative and compassionate. Also, the key to a meaningful life is to cultivate the goodness in yourself and those around you. I found myself sharing many of the facts from the book at our dinner was very informative.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago