Dacher Keltner is a professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, where he directs the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab. He is also the director of the Greater Good Science Center, formerly known as the Center for the Development of Peace and Well-Being. Keltner received his B.A. in psychology and sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1984, he received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1989, and he completed three years of post-doctoral work with Paul Ekman at the University of California, San Francisco. He took his first academic job, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then returned to UC Berkeley’s Psychology Department in 1996.
Life and work
Keltner is the co-author of two textbooks, as well as the best-selling Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, and The Compassionate Instinct. Keltner has published over 190 scientific articles, he has written for the New York Times Magazine, The London Times, and Utne Reader, and has received numerous national prizes and grants for his research. His research has been covered in TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, the BBC, CNN, NPR, The Wallstreet Journal, and in many other outlets, and been a focus in two panels with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
He has collaborated with directors at Pixar, including film director and animator Pete Docter in preparation of his 2015 film Inside Out. He worked with a design team at Facebook, and on projects at Google, and was recently featured in Tom Shadyac’s movie I Am.
He has received the outstanding teacher and research mentor awards from UC Berkeley, and seen 20 of his PhD students and post-doctoral fellows become professors. WIRED magazine recently rated his podcasts from his course Emotion as one of the five best educational downloads, and the Utne Reader selected Dacher for one of its 50 2008 visionaries.
Keltner lives in Berkeley with his wife, Mollie McNeil, an alumna of Berkeley, and their two daughters.
Greater Good Science Center
The Greater Good Science Center publishes an online magazine called Greater Good.
Launched in 2015, Keltner's research website Project Awe aims to collect narratives of awe experiences across the globe.
Theory of Power
Together with Deborah H. Gruenfeld of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Cameron Anderson at Berkeley, Keltner has developed a theory of power that aims to present an integrative account of the effects of power on human behaviour, suggesting that the acquisition of power has a disinhibiting effect regarding the social consequences of exercising it.
- Keltner, Dacher, Keith Oatley, and Jennifer M. Jenkins.Understanding Emotions 3rd ed. scheduled for 2014. ISBN 9781118147436; prev. ed. published by Blackwell Publishers, 1996
- Keltner, Dacher, Jason Marsh, and Jeremy Adam Smith, editors, The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2010. ISBN 9780393337280 
- Keltner, Dacher. Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2009. ISBN 9780393337136 In 991 libraries according to WorldCat 
- translated into Dutch by Peter van Huizen as De mens is niet slecht : emoties als bron van goed en zinvol leven ISBN 9789079001156
- Gilovich, Thomas, Dacher Keltner, and Richard E. Nisbett. Social Psychology. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006 ISBN
- J. Wesley Judd (July 8, 2015). "A Conversation With the Psychologist Behind 'Inside Out'". Pacific Standard. Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
- Lehrer, Jonah (14 August 2010). "The Power Trip". The Wall Street Journal.
Contrary to the Machiavellian cliché, nice people are more likely to rise to power. Then something strange happens: Authority atrophies the very talents that got them there.
- Robertson, Ian H. (March 2013). "How power affects the brain". British Psychological Society.
- Keltner, Dacher; Gruenfeld, Deborah H; Anderson, Cameron (2003). "Power, Approach and Inhibition" (PDF). Psychological Review 110 (2): 265–284. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.110.2.265.
- WorldCat book record
- Biography at the Berkeley Social Interaction Laboratory
- Greater Good Magazine
- Greater Good Science Center
- Video: Keltner discusses whether Technology Dependence is De-Evolving Human Emotion, Fora.tv (Los Angeles Public Library, Feb. 5, 2009)
- Video: We are built to be kind, published on December 2, 2014 - Dacher Keltner challenges popular notions of human nature and seeks to explain why mammals evolved emotions such as empathy
- Human Happiness Course by Keltner at UC Berkeley Webcasts
- Project Awe Website