The Science of a Meaningful Life

greater goodThe website for the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley is one I check on a regular basis. Positive psychology is a major interest of mine and overlaps fairly well with management and organizational theory (many management professors are actually psychologists by education). The site recently posted “The Top 10 Insights from the “Science of a Meaningful Life” in 2014,” which should be of interest to anyone seeking to understand and increase one’s well-being. Without further ado, the top 10 insights are:

1. Mindfulness can reduce racial prejudice–and possibly its effects on victims.

2. Gratitude makes us smarter in how we spend our money.

3. It’s possible to teach gratitude to young children, with lasting effects.

4. Having more variety in our emotions–positive or negative–can make us happier and healthier.

5. Natural selection favors happy people, which is why there are so many of them.

6. Activities from positive psychology don’t just make happy people happier–they can also help alleviate suffering.

7. People with a “growth mindset” are more likely to overcome barriers to empathy.

8. To get people to take action against climate change, talk to them about birds.

9. Feelings of well-being might spur extraordinary acts of altruism.

10. Extreme altruism is motivated by intuition–our compassionate instincts.

Check out the link for further details and the actual studies.