Dacher Keltner, Ph.D.

Dacher Keltner, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, University of California at Berkeley, Faculty Director of the Greater Good Science Center, and bestselling author

Dacher Keltner, Ph.D. (FAN ’16) is a professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, director of the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab, and faculty director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. His research focuses the biological and evolutionary origins of compassion, awe, love, and beauty, as well as power, social class, and inequality.

Prof. Keltner is the author of The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence, as well as the bestseller Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life and The Compassionate Instinct. His latest book is 2023’s Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life.

He has published over 200 scientific articles, including seminal works on the psychology of awe. He has written for The New York Times Magazine, London Times, and Utne Reader, and his research has been covered in TIME, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, CNN, NPR, and the BBC as well as many other outlets. He is the host of The Science of Happiness, a podcast co-produced by PRX and the Greater Good Science Center.

In addition to his university work and research, Prof. Keltner has collaborated on projects at Facebook and Google. He was the scientific consultant for Pixar’s highly acclaimed film Inside Out, for which he helped revise the story emphasizing the neuropsychological findings that human emotions are mirrored in interpersonal relationships and can be significantly moderated by them. He has twice presented his research to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as part of a continuing dialogue between the Dalai Lama and scientists.