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Heat and happiness

Maximilian Auffhammer, professor, international sustainable development | January 8, 2016

One of the reasons we think we should take action about climate change is that the costs of doing something about the problem are lower than the stream of future damages if we fail to act. Figuring out what damages from climate change will be 100 or more years into the future is difficult. It … Continue reading »

The best Greater Good articles of 2015

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | January 4, 2016

For UC Berkeley’s Greater Good, nuance and controversy defined 2015. Over the course of the year, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center grappled with big public issues like terrorism, racism, and what schools should teach. We tackled “inside baseball” questions about the validity of psychological research and the best ways to measure … Continue reading »

Happy International Day of Happiness!

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | March 20, 2015

Today is the International Day of Happiness, launched last year by the United Nations to promote subjective well-being as a legitimate goal of public policy and social progress. That’s a goal we share at the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, and through the years we’ve covered happiness research from every conceivable angle. Here are … Continue reading »

Is your marriage losing its luster?

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | February 13, 2014

One of the greatest things about our long-term romantic relationships is that they can provide comfort and predictability in this wild world we live in. But let’s face it: Long-term relationships can get a little boring. Within nine to eighteen months, research suggests, 87 percent of couples lose that knee-quaking excitement they felt when they … Continue reading »

The year’s most popular articles about the “science of a meaningful life”

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | January 3, 2014

At a recent retreat for the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center, one of our advisors looked at a list of our most popular articles to date. “This is all over the place,” he said, referring to the diversity of topics and approaches. I replied that this is a feature, not a bug. The mission … Continue reading »

Working parents, are you maxed out?

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | September 17, 2013

I just finished Katrina Alcorn’s gripping memoir, Maxed Out, about her nervous breakdown. Although it is an absorbing, can’t-put-it-down kind of a book, her breakdown — harrowing as it was — struck me as ordinary. Ordinary in that her experience seems so common. Working parents are stressed. Women in particular are really suffering: They report … Continue reading »

The past year’s top 10 scientific insights about living a meaningful life

Jeremy Adam Smith, web editor & producer, Greater Good Science Center | January 3, 2013

The science we cover on the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center website — aka, “the science of a meaningful life” — has exploded over the past 10 years, with many more studies published each year on gratitude, mindfulness, and our other core themes than we saw a decade ago. 2012 was no exception. In … Continue reading »

The ‘good’ divorce

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | March 19, 2012

The title of this post is misleading: Divorce is difficult and painful for everyone involved, especially kids. I’ve never known anyone to have a “good” divorce, in that way you have a good meal or good sex — even when divorce was the right thing to do for everyone, including the kids. Divorce is horrible. … Continue reading »

Occupy parenting, part 2

Christine Carter, director, Greater Good Parents | December 13, 2011

“I’m only 6. I can’t afford a lobbyist.“ ―sign held by a little girl at Occupy Oakland “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.“ ―Martin Luther King Jr. Although I wish, now, that I’d been more involved in the Children’s Brigade in Oakland, I confess that I don’t … Continue reading »

Sustainability and the pursuit of happiness

Dan Farber, professor of law | September 7, 2011

There’s a common vision of environmentalism that mostly involves giving things up, the basic image being one of ascetic sacrifice for the benefit of the environment and future generations. Some people actually are ascetics, and most people are willing to make big sacrifices in emergencies. But by and large, people aren’t willing to give up … Continue reading »