The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley sponsors groundbreaking scientific discoveries—and turns them into stories, tips, and tools for a happier life and more compassionate society.
Since 2001, the GGSC has been at the fore of a new scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life. Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the GGSC is unique in its commitment to both science and practice: Not only does it foster groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being, it also helps people apply this research to their personal and professional lives.
The GGSC is a nonprofit, member-supported organization. To learn more, check out its online magazine, home to a rich array of award-winning articles, videos, quizzes, podcasts, and newsletters—all for free. For updates on new content and projects, sign up for its e-newsletter.
To help support the GGSC’s work, please consider joining as a member.
Research is clear: Happiness, resilience, connection, and kindness are skills that can be taught and developed over time—with practice.
That’s why UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, in collaboration with HopeLab, launched Greater Good in Action. Synthesizing hundreds of scientific studies, Greater Good in Action collects the best research-based methods for a happier, more meaningful life—and puts them at your fingertips in a format that's easy to navigate and digest.
The practices in Greater Good in Action are for anyone who wants to improve his or her social and emotional well-being, or the well-being of others, but doesn't necessarily have the time or money to invest in a formal program. We hope they serve as building blocks for creating your own happiness regimen. You can start building this regimen by saving practices to your My Practices page.
While we’ll never have a sure path toward happiness, we believe these practices can create lasting improvements in individuals, families, and communities. Over time, they can evolve into habits, and from habits become a new way of experiencing the world.
Greater Good in Action was developed through a partnership between the Greater Good Science Center and HopeLab, two organizations committed to using cutting-edge science to promote psychological health and well-being. Additional funding was provided by the 1440 Foundation and Allan Spivack. The site was designed by gleeMachine and developed by Hop Studios, with additional design concepts by Chairun R. Siregar.
The practices in Greater Good in Action are not intended to be a substitute for therapy, or to serve as a form of mental health treatment for people suffering from depression or other major mood disorders. If you are or think you may be suffering from depression, we encourage you to talk with someone, especially a trained mental health professional.
Greater Good in Action is just one initiative of the Greater Good Science Center, which the New York Times recently called the “epicenter for research on happiness and gratitude.” The GGSC’s other programs include:
Greater Good, the GGSC’s online magazine, which turns “the science of a meaningful life” into stories, tools, and practical tips. Greater Good’s free, award-winning multimedia content provides a bridge between social scientists and parents, educators, community leaders, and policy makers.
A free online course called “The Science of Happiness.” The GGSC’s Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas lead students through the roots of a happy and meaningful life. Students engage with some of the most provocative and practical lessons from this science, discovering how cutting-edge research can be applied to their own lives.
The Greater Good Education Program provides regular coverage of new trends in social-emotional learning and focuses on fostering the well-being of teachers. It also runs an annual Summer Institute for Educators, which equips educators with social-emotional learning tools that benefit both students and teachers.
GGSC events bring together leading scientists, educators, and members of the public to discuss concrete strategies for promoting the greater good.
Its Science of a Meaningful Life seminar series has included presentations by luminaries such as Paul Ekman, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Barbara Fredrickson, and Philip Zimbardo, many of which can be watched in the GGSC’s video archive.
Fellowships to UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students are the foundation of the Center's scientific initiatives. The GGSC's fellowship program supports scholars whose work relates to our mission, from across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines.
The Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude project supports the scientific research and promotes evidence-based practices of gratitude in schools, workplaces, homes, and communities.
These programs are supported by donors large and small—and we hope you’ll consider signing up as a member.
HopeLab creates technology products to help people thrive. Its work focuses on motivating positive health behavior in kids and young adults to support health and well-being. HopeLab’s approach combines behavioral science, user-centered design, and strategic partnerships to drive broad impact.
HopeLab is the health-focused R&D organization of the Omidyar Group, which represents the interests of Pam and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.
Learn more at www.hopelab.org.
Got an idea for a research-based practice that we should add to Greater Good in Action? Got other feedback on the site?