All posts in tag: psychology

Jeremy Adam Smith Does stress reduce empathy?

On Monday, the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center published a research brief, “How Anxiety Reduces Empathy,” that provoked some conversation and disagreement among readers.

“I thought empathy increases stress and anxiety,” wrote one person — especially, she believed, if we empathize with people in a bad situation that we don’t … More >

Jeremy Adam Smith Happy International Day of Happiness!

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 … More >

Jeremy Adam Smith The Top 10 Insights from the “Science of a Meaningful Life” in 2014

It’s time once again for our favorite year-end ritual here at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center: Our annual list of the top scientific insights produced by the study of happiness, altruism, mindfulness, gratitude–what we call “the science of a meaningful life.”

We found that this year, the science of a … More >

Claude Fischer Are we more self-absorbed than previous generations, or just more self-aware?

For several years some psychologists have been arguing that Americans (especially American youth) of the modern era are more self-absorbed and self-interested than were Americans of an earlier era. (“Earlier” can mean pre-21st century, or pre-1960s, or pre-20th century, or whenever.) Much of the evidence they offer – heavily debated … More >

Jeremy Adam Smith The top 10 insights from the “science of a meaningful life” in 2013

The past few years have been marked by two major trends in the science of a meaningful life.

One is that researchers continued to add sophistication and depth to our understanding of positive feelings and behaviors. Happiness is good for you, but not all the time; empathy ties us together, and … More >

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

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 … More >

Jeremy Adam Smith Six habits of highly grateful people

I’m terrible at gratitude.

How bad am I? I’m so bad at gratitude that most days, I don’t notice the sunlight on the leaves of the Berkeley oaks as I ride my bike down the street. I forget to be thankful for the guy who hand-brews that delicious cup of coffee … More >

Jeremy Adam Smith Five reasons why we need Halloween


Did I scare you?

No? Let’s try this: Scientists currently predict global sea levels could rise up to 1.5 meters by 2100, a process that could drown cities and trigger widespread human famine and wildlife extinction.

Scared? You should be—and hopefully that little stab of fear and dread compels you to make … More >

Jeremy Adam Smith Beyond cuddling: Five surprising ways Oxytocin shapes your social life

It’s been called the cuddle hormone, the holiday hormone, the moral molecule, and more—but new research suggests that oxytocin needs some new nicknames. Like maybe the conformity hormone, or perhaps the America-Number-One! molecule.

Where does this many-monikered neuropeptide come from? Scientists first found it in mothers, whose bodies flood with oxytocin … More >

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