The New Science of Awe || Dacher Keltner

May 4, 2023

Today we welcome Dr. Dacher Keltner, one of the world’s foremost emotion scientists. He is a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the director of the Greater Good Science Center. Fun fact: he was the scientific advisor behind the beloved Pixar movie, Inside Out! He has over 200 scientific publications and six books, including Born to Be Good, The Compassionate Instinct, and The Power Paradox. His latest book is called Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life.

In this episode, I talk to Dacher Keltner about the new science of awe. Emotions like fear and disgust have been extensively researched because of their roles in human survival. But Dr. Keltner argues that awe is also essential for well-being and community. Music, art, and nature are some of the antecedents that can induce a sense of wonder, inspiring us to be better by recognizing that we’re parts of a greater whole. We also touch on the topics of transcendence, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and creativity.

Website: dacherkeltner.com

Twitter: @GreaterGoodSC


  • The science of awe
  • What triggers awe?
  • The neuroscience and physiology of awe
  • The essential features of awe
  • A prosocial approach to evolutionary psychology
  • Dr. Keltner’s personal search for awe
  • Nature and connectivity
  • Are we depriving children of awe?
  • Awe is a life detector
  • Awe and creativity
  • The dark side of awe
  • Cultivating the awe mindset
  • The unifying purpose of awe

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