Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness” as Want to Read:
The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  74 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In these pages you will hear from Steven Pinker, who asks, “Why is there peace?”; Robert Sapolsky, who examines violence among primates; Paul Ekman, who talks with the Dalai Lama about global compassion; Daniel Goleman, who proposes “constructive anger”; and many others. Led by renowned psychologist Dacher Keltner, the Greater Good Science Center, based at the University o ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published January 4th 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Compassionate Instinct, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Compassionate Instinct

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 329)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
A collection of 35 scholarly essays from Greater Good Magazine,, a product of the Greater Good Science Center, at the University of Berkeley a "...research center devoted to the scientific understanding of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior."

Part One: The Scientific Roots of Human Goodness
The good news:
•Science says it's in the nature of humans to be kind.
•We can learn to respond in more compassionate ways.
Notable: "Hope on the Ba
I feel very lucky to be exposed to the ideas I found in this book. It's nothing less than a scientific examination of altruism, heroism and human virtue. None of the ideas are new ––if you've read The Lord of the Rings, you know them by heart already –– but what is new is the authors' exacting search for the scientific basis of these behaviors. In doing so, the authors form coherent arguments to contradict many of the cynical assumptions about the human nature, from the effectiveness of Machiave ...more
A collection of articles reporting on scientific evidence for human beings having compassionate instincts, as a counterwight to the usual emphasis on inborn agression and hostility. Some are most concerned with the scientific findings, others with ways to cultivate human goodness individually and culturally. 3-1/2 stars.
Lynn Crothers
This book is a compilation of essays taken from Greater Good magazine, which is a product of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center (a place I find really intriguing). Sometimes the topics can seem repetitive, but the whole thing is littered with little life-changing ideas and facts. It's absolutely worth a read.
Kevin McAllister
Elvis Costello once posed the question what's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding. After reading The Compassionate Instinct I can't help but wonder why isn't there more peace love and understanding
Amazing read of short ideas that come together to give hope in the character & values of humans in ways maybe not considered before. Very fascinating ideas!
Some really goood essays. I jumped around a bit, but the things I read were very insightful.
some personal stories some research about what it means to be empathic, compassionate and ethical
Great read. Just finished it!
Lenora marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2015
M marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2015
Gretchen marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2015
Zane marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2015
Jeremy is currently reading it
Aug 13, 2015
Noël marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2015
Delia marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2015
Grant marked it as to-read
Aug 06, 2015
Christopher marked it as to-read
Aug 05, 2015
Caitlin Clough
Caitlin Clough marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2015
Erika Starkey
Erika Starkey marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2015
Jacob marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2015
A.R. marked it as to-read
Jun 08, 2015
Jorge is currently reading it
May 29, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Born Believers: The Science of Children's Religious Belief
  • Religion Without God
  • The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone
  • Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information
  • The Bond: Connecting Through the Space Between Us
  • Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier
  • Field Notes on the Compassionate Life: A Search for the Soul of Kindness
  • The Compassionate Mind
  • Free from Lies: Discovering Your True Needs
  • The Empathic Civilization: The Race To Global Consciousness In A World In Crisis
  • Journey of the Heart: The Path of Conscious Love
  • Educating Your Child In Modern Times:  Raising An Intelligent, Sovereign, & Ethical Human Being
  • Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age
  • The Future of Man
  • The Society of Timid Souls: or, How To Be Brave
  • Universal Compassion: Transforming Your Life Through Love and Compassion
  • Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen
  • The Wealth of Nature: Economics as if Survival Mattered
Dacher Keltner is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, director of the Greater Good Science Center, and coeditor of Greater Good magazine. His research focuses on pro-social emotions, power, and moral reasoning."
More about Dacher Keltner...
Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life Understanding Emotions I tunes U--UC Berkeley lecture series: Emotions Social Psychology Social Psychology

Share This Book