In Born to Be Good, Dacher Keltner demonstrates that humans are not hardwired to lead lives that are “nasty, brutish, and short”—we are in fact born to be good. Antony van Leeuwenhoek changed how we look at the natural world. Born in Delft, the Netherlands, in , he came from a family of brewers. In Born to Be Good, Dacher Keltner demonstrates that humans are not hardwired to lead lives that are “nasty, brutish, and short”-we are in fact.

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These chapters all br lengthy discussions and details about tiny facial movements and how to distinguish goos genuine and false smiles. In Born to Be GoodDacher Keltner demonstrates that humans are not hardwired to lead lives that are “nasty, brutish, and short”-we are in fact born to be good.

Keltner is an entertaining writer and the neuroscience and psychology is top notch. Born to Be Good: The book explores the gamut of emotions and facial expressions and how they relate to the evolution of human society. Keltner correctly notes that Darwin himself first suggested this, insisting on “the greater strength of the social or maternal instincts than that of any other instinct or motive.

Born to be good | Greater Good

By combining stories of scientific discovery, personal narrative, and Eastern philosophy, Keltner illustrates his discussions with more than fifty photographs of human emotions.

Political history says human nature is born of competition and self interest or survival of the fittest but Born to Be Good tells us the Scientific evidence behind why we are wired to be good. Keltner’s basic thesis, which he builds up through all of the studies done on all of these basic emotional states, is this: A refreshing change from the dismal topics usually focussed on in the study of psychopathology, Keltner takes us through the cutting edge science on the more redeeming human instincts which underlie gratitude, laughter, embarassment, love compassion and awe.


Fascinating stuff about the evolution of positive emotions and behaviors – why we laugh, smile, touch; how dance evolved; what our minute facial movements really mean – Darwin shows up, as does the Dalai Lama. Return to Book Page.

I have read this a couple of times and have it as an audio book, I listen to it often on my way to work and have referenced it many times. Jul 25, Michael rated it liked it.

Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life

Another good book about how being good can pay off. I coudn’t find any one else even using his teminology when I googled, except his own research center. Got this book, because I listened to Keltner’s lectures on emotions to psych majors at Berkeley and found them fascinating.

The Science of a Meaningful Life Norton paperback. His research is fascinating. Here’s what the publisher, WW Norton, has to say: Feb 09, Mary rated it it was amazing. He believes that the secret to happiness is in the jen ratio – the balance of good and bad in your life – and that this ratio can be changed if we learn to recognize and embrac Not the most accessible writing, but the premise bw a solid and interesting one.

Also forthcoming from Greater Good Science Center authors: User Review – Flag as inappropriate Good stuff in this book.


I put this in more of a free-wheelin self-help category ver This book title is really misleading. This is a very well-written book that describes the scientific triggers and reasons behind many of our positive emotions. Apr 05, David rated it liked it.

That’s not a bad thing. No trivia or quizzes yet. This book title is really misleading. Other awards include the Western Psychological Association’s award for outstanding bodn to research, the Positive Psychology Prize for excellence in research, and the Distinguished Mentoring Award at UC Berkeley. Dec 14, Kathryn Bashaar rated it liked it.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Compassion does not render people tearful idlers, moral weaklings, or passive onlookers but individuals who will take on the pain of others, even when given the chance to skip out on such difficult action or in anonymous conditions. The author, a professor at UC Berkeley, explains how he and his dachee and other researchers are demonstrating that positive emotions and behavior such as smiling, touching, and caring for others, are biologically based and have their origins in our evolution as a species who must care for our young over a very extended number of years.

Maybe it gets glod after pagebut somehow, I doubt it. One of the researchers he worked with is able to roll his eyebrows in a wave from side to side. Barbara Oakley’s Evil Genes also gives a different perspective. May 06, Ann rated it liked it. That would provide birn as to where the feeling emanates.