Being Well Podcast: Compassion, Power, and Human Nature with Dr. Dacher Keltner

Being Well Podcast: Compassion, Power, and Human Nature with Dr. Dacher Keltner

Does power corrupt? Where does compassion come from? And do positive or negative emotions serve as the basis for our true nature? Today we’re exploring these questions with a world-class expert on emotion, power, and morality: Dr. Dacher Keltner.

About Our Guest: Dr. Keltner is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he directs the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab. He’s also the founder and co-director of the Greater Good Science Center. Dr. Keltner is also the author of three books: Born to Be Good, The Compassionate Instinct, and most recently, The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence

Key Topics:

2:15: What is an emotion, and how many emotions are there?

7:45: The complex weave of positive emotions. 

11:30: Why did we evolve positive emotions?

15:00: The influence of compassion. 

20:45: Power dynamics, and in-groups vs. out-groups.

25:30: How and why power corrupts.

33:30: Are we only nice to other people because we have to be?

38:45: Finding awe in mystery. 

44:00: Committing to daily practice. 

From Dr. Hanson: The Foundations of Well-Being brings together the lessons of a lifetime of practice into one year-long online program. Learn how to change your brain for the better with Dr. Rick Hanson guiding you every step of the way. Register now for 40% off the program price, and don’t hesitate to apply for a scholarship if you’re in need. Also, podcast listeners can use the code BEINGWELL10  for another 10% off!


Want fresh, delicious, simple dinners delivered right to your doorstep? Check out HelloFresh, America’s #1 meal kit, and use code beingwell90 to get $90 off including free shipping! 

Join over a million people using BetterHelp, the world’s largest online counseling platform. Visit for 10% off your first month! 

Want to sleep better? Try the legendary Calm app! Visit for 40% off a premium subscription.

Connect with the show:

Get the Just One Thing
Weekly Newsletter

A simple practice each week that will bring you more joy, more fulfilling relationships, and more peace of mind and heart.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

You can unsubscribe at any time and your email address will never be shared.