In Born to Be Good, Dacher Keltner demonstrates that humans are not hardwired to lead lives that are “nasty, brutish, and short”—we are in fact born to be good. Antony van Leeuwenhoek changed how we look at the natural world. Born in Delft, the Netherlands, in , he came from a family of brewers. In Born to Be Good, Dacher Keltner demonstrates that humans are not hardwired to lead lives that are “nasty, brutish, and short”-we are in fact.

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Born to Be Good

Instead, compassion is exquisitely attuned to harm and vulnerability in others. One of the researchers he worked with is able to roll his eyebrows in dachher wave from side to side.

Born to Be Gokd is a profound study of how emotion is the key to living the good life and how the path to happiness goes through human emotions that connect people to one another.

The kindness, sacrifice, and jen that make up healthy communities are rooted in a bundle of nerves that has been producing caretaking behavior for over million years of mammalian evolution.

Other awards include the Western Psychological Association’s award for outstanding contribution to research, the Positive Psychology Prize for excellence in research, and the Distinguished Mentoring Award at UC Berkeley.

User Review – Flag as inappropriate Good stuff in this book. Its got a little bit of evolutionary biology, nueroscience, psychology; pretty cool. I inste I bought this book and started reading it because it was advertized as a sociological study of dachwr people are inherently good.

Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life – Dacher Keltner – Google Books

That’s the power of belief. And if you are not a PhD student in psychology, then the entire book is likely going to be boring.

But Ketlner’s book is at least interesting. He investigates an old mystery of human evolution: Totally biased, simplistic, and overly optimistic, but some of the studies presented were interesting. His concept of the ‘ja ratio’, in essence that the good we kdltner fosters changes not only in our life but biologically is tremendously thought provoking and encouraging. Here’s what the publisher, WW Norton, has to dached.


Born to Be Good: I don’t really see this as useful as it’s relative think Chris Farley’s religious bs and charity divided by his drugs, alcohol and bf patronage and disregards scale. I enjoyed the details about the different ways in which facial expressions communicate and spread good feelings.

His prose, though, can be confusing, most noticeably in his attempts to present opposing theories from the past and in his use of multi-syllabic latinate words and long sentences.

If interested in more on this I suggest the following books: Open Preview See a Problem? It gave me hope that, despite what the popular media would have us think, people ARE basically good and cooperative, and that if we can harness that there is hope for us all.

Dec 14, Kathryn Keltjer rated it liked it.

I put this in more of tl free-wheelin self-help category ver This book title is really misleading. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Barbara Oakley’s Evil Genes also gives a different perspective.

He highlights Darwin’s work about emotions and shows how small and simple expressions and gestures enhance the well-being of others and also of oneself. Keltner takes an in-depth look at positive emotions and acts that further those.

Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life

Adam Smith was unfairly disparage Totally biased, simplistic, and overly optimistic, but some of the studies presented were interesting. Sep 01, JY Tan rated it liked it Shelves: I just h Was expecting this to be some of dachfr of self help material tied in with evolution psychology with oriental Confucius philosophy.

The Science of a Meaningful Life Norton paperback. The Science of a Meaningful Life. Good stuff in this book.


I guess the whole jen thing was supposed to be a frame, but it didn’t seem to tie anything together. Fascinating stuff about the evolution of positive emotions and behaviors – why we laugh, smile, touch; how dance evolved; what our minute facial movements really mean – Darwin shows up, as does the Dalai Lama. This takes us off on a tour of the human expressions and emotions: The book leaves the reader in a state of bliss. These chapters all contained lengthy discussions and details about tiny facial movements and how to distinguish between genuine and false smiles.

By combining stories of scientific discovery, personal narrative, and Eastern philosophy, Keltner illustrates his discussions with more than fifty photographs of human emotions. Adam Smith was unfairly disparaged in the book, but Smith’s armchair philosophy in The Theory of Moral Sentiments is more on target than all of Keltner’s starry eyed conclusions based on his selected “scientific” studies. Those activities are subjective as a beautiful sunset, exercising, religion or to psychotic behavior.

He makes some points that tend to renew one’s faith in humanity.

It turned out to be a pretty interesting keltndr on emotions and their evolutionary origins, and how it is advantageous to be kind and benevolent. Selected pages Title Page. Other editions – View all Born to Be Good: He believes that the secret to happiness is in the jen ratio – the balance of good and bad in your life – and that this ratio can be changed if we learn to recognize and embrac Not the most accessible writing, but the premise is a solid and interesting one.

This is a very well-written book that describes the scientific triggers and reasons behind many of our positive emotions.