Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

   Home    Conference   Magazine   Empathy Tent   Services    Newsletter   Facebook    Youtube   Contact   Search

Join the International Conference on: How Might We Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion?

Empathic Design
Empathy Circles

  Restorative Empathy Circles
Empathy Tent

Expert Interviews
Obama on Empathy


    Empathy Tests


Culture of Empathy Builder: Dacher Keltner





Dacher Keltner: The Art of Emotions/Emotions in Art: From the Pixar Film to the Empathetic Museum



Empathy, Compassion Kindness Scientist 

'This profile on UC Berkeley Professor Dacher Keltner highlights his breakthrough research on the science of kindness and compassion.'


2011-0-29 - Dacher Keltner: The Compassionate Instinct - A Darwinian Tale of the Survival of the Kindest





About Book: Born to be Good by Dacher Keltner


  • About Book: Born to be Good

  • Darwin  talks about emotions: compassion

  • From personal experiences

  • There's hope for better communities


Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life @GoogleTalks - 2009-01-2009



My favorite emotion Compassion +Sympathy

  • Sympathy Breakthrough in battle

    • many soldiers don't shoot the gun

  • We're wired to feel

  • Science says we wired to nasty life - the bad is stronger than good

    • it's selfish motives

    • negative contamination

    • self-interest is default

  • The Cynics

    • Freud -

    • Ayaan Ryan - altruism is an act of treason

  • Darwin

    • talked about sympathy as strongest instinct

    • emotion is evolutionary

  • Story of compassion

  • Flows from Darwinian analysis - we are

    • reconciliation

    • hierarchy

    • care takers

  • Human offspring are born very vulnerable

    • need caretaking

  • They study positive emotions

  • Focus on compassion

    • Compassion - concern for the welfare of others who are in need or suffering

    • Empathy - mirroring of understanding of others emotions

  • compassion has had critics in western thought

    • Emanuel Kant - didn't like it - is to subjective

  • Darwin thought is was the strongest instinct, explains it through natural selection

  • Karen Armstrong says at the heart of religious traditions is compassion

  • Emergence of prosocial emotions

  • He started looking at compassion

    • what do people look like when they feel compassion?

    • looked at photos - didn't work

    • checked voice/sound - is like a sight

    • touch conveys compassion best

      • they did tests with conveying emotion through touch

    • contagious compassion

      • Social networks

      • happiness, kindness spreads in social networks

    • shift away from self-interest

      • Increase the gains of giving

      • minimize the costs of giving

      • increase sense of common humanity- Peter Singer

  • Vegas nerve

    • bundle of nerves

    • takes care of others

    • brainstem and influences many parts of body

    • heart rate

    • helps orientate to others

    • stimulates oxytocin and trust

    • relates to connection - prosocial - compassion

  • Physical display of compassion and love, etc.

  • Advantages of being prosocial

  • Q and A

    • role of institutions?

      •  in group out group

      • institutions codify traits

      • institutions are formed from these emotions

    • Google School of personal growth - empathy boot camp

      • Megan ???

    • thinking with the heart - vegas nerve

      • rational and bodily

      • gut feeling

FloraTV: Does Darwin Illuminate Emotion & Spirituality?  11.08.09
   Dacher Keltner - Paul Ekman


TEDxBerkeley - Dacher Keltner - 04/03/10


  • Compassion in face to face combat

    • sympathy breakthroughs

  • Darwin - Survival of the Kindest

  • Signals of Compassion in the face?

    • image

    • voice

    • touch - trusting behavior

  • Viral Goodness - contagious

  • Activation in the brain - in old part

  • Oxytocin

    • more generosity

    • genes for selfless behavior

  • Compassion deficit

    • by country - US is low.

    • more compassion less bullying, violence, etc.

Dacher Keltner; University of California-Berkeley, Greater Good Science Center
Robert Wright
The Evolution of God, Nonzero, NAF,


Dacher calls for more touching; Bob doesn’t quite embrace the idea (04:22)
The evolution of awe (04:06)
The new science of oxytocin, the “love hormone” (10:58)
Dacher recounts hanging out with the Dalai Lama (06:04)
The vagus nerve as a center of sympathy (05:47)
The upside of embarrassment, the benefits of teasing (07:48)




Sep 22, 2010 - Channeling Optimism, Empathy, and Kindness to Business Benefit
by Sustainable Brands 

Dialogue session with Jurriaan Kamp of Ode Magazine, Dev Patnaik of Jump Associates, John Marshall Roberts, and Dacher Keltner of UC Berekeley Greater Good Science Center, on better understanding the human condition including desires, kindness, empathy and more. This conversation dives into what makes us tick and how we might innovate our brands and campaigns in ways that can connect deeper to the human spirit, help create needed behavior change and lend themselves to stronger brand loyalty.