Dacher Keltner
Principal Investigator
Lab Director
Dacher Keltner is a professor of Psychology at UC Berkeley and faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center. Dacher’s research focuses the biological and evolutionary origins of emotion, in particular prosocial states such as compassion, awe, love, and beauty, and power, social class, and inequality. He is the co-author of two textbooks, Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, The Compassionate Instinct, and The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence. Dacher has published over 200 scientific articles, written for many media outlets, and consulted for the Center for Constitutional Rights (to help end solitary confinement), Google, Facebook, the Sierra Club, and for Pixar’s Inside Out.

Graduate Students

Minha Cho
Graduate Student
Minha received her B.A. and M.A. in psychology at Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea) and is currently a Ph.D. student in social/personality psychology at UC Berkeley. Her main research interests are 1) the nature of social hierarchy (power, social class, economic inequality, etc.), 2) accuracy and bias in social perception, and 3) social functions of emotions and the evolutionary bases of well-being. Minha’s current projects include exploring how awe experiences associate with social class and examining the interpersonal consequences of income inequality via physiological tools.


Paul Connor
Graduate Student
Paul is a Ph.D student in Social/Personality Psychology at UC Berkeley. His primary research interests are the cognitive and inter-personal consequences of social class stratification, social class identification, and income inequality. He is also performing research on inter-cultural variations in the subjective experience and consequences of the emotion of awe, and has performed research on the determinants of pro-environmental attitudes and behavior.


Alan Cowen
Graduate Student
Emotion science has traditionally focused on how a narrow range of emotional states, chosen on priori, explain human behavior in relatively small samples of participants. My approach is to explore–and interactively map–how the rich variety of emotions that thousands of people express and experience can be projected onto a broad array of distinct dimensions. This approach involves developing much richer datasets, new computational tools, and a more formal conceptual framework in which traditional theories of emotion are decomposed into assortments of claims about the conceptualization, structure, cultural universality, and context dependence of emotion-related processes.


Hooria Jazaieri
Graduate Student
Hooria is a Ph.D candidate in Social/Personality Psychology at UC Berkeley and a recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. Broadly, her research interests center on personal reputation, team chemistry, emotion, and emotion regulation. Hooria’s dissertation research examines the content, structure, and dynamics of personal reputation. She also takes a multi-method approach to studying team chemistry in groups and teams. She has authored and co-authored numerous papers.


Laura Maruskin
Graduate Student
Laura is a Ph.D student in Social/Personality Psychology at UC Berkeley. Her primary research interests include emotion, motivation, and bodily processes associated with emotional states. Most recently, she has focused on “the chills” (responses such as goosebumps and shivers that sometimes accompanies strong emotion), inspiration (a particular form of approach motivation), and the relation between implicit and explicit motives. She is currently examining the cross-cultural universality of the relation between awe and chills, as well as the relation between awe and social hierarchy across cultures.


Maria Monroy
Graduate Student
Maria is a Ph.D student in Social/Personality Psychology at UC Berkeley. Broadly, her research interests include emotion, emotional expression, culture, and the cognitive and social functions of awe.


Joseph Ocampo
Graduate Student


Daniel Stancato
Graduate Student
Born and raised in the Bay Area, I received my B.A. in psychology from UC Berkeley in 2011 where I worked as a research assistant and honors student in the BSI lab. Now I am thrilled to return to the lab as a graduate student. Broadly, my three main research interests are 1) the culture of social class, 2) social functions of emotion, and 3) the ways in which individuals respond to uncertainty or chaos in their lives and the external world. My current projects include examining status displays among upper-class individuals and the exploring the social functions of awe.


Felicia Zerwas
Graduate Student

Post Docs and Visiting Scholars


Craig Anderson
Yang Bai
Matt Killingsworth
Seinenu Thein

Past Grad Alumni

Yang Bai ’17
Jia Wei Zhang ’17
Craig Anderson ’16
Amie Gordon’15
Daniel Cordaro ’14
Paul Piff ’14
Michelle Rheinschmidt ’14
Jennifer Stellar ’14
Olga Antonenko Young ’13
Matthew Feinberg ’12
Andres Martinez ’12
Liz Horberg ’11
Laura Saslow ’11
Michael Kraus ’10
June Gruber ’09
Christopher Oveis ’09
Jennifer Goetz ’08
Maria Logli Allison ’06
Carrie Langner ’05
Molly Parker Tapias ’05
Erin Heerey ’04
Belinda Campos ’03
Lani Shiota ’03
Jennifer Beer ’02
Gian Gonzaga ’02
Matt Hertenstein ’02
Cameron Anderson ’01
Jennifer Lerner ’98

Past Post-Docs and Visiting Scholars

Ursula Beermann ’13
Danny Heller ’13
Emiliana Simon-Thomas ’10
Emily Impett ’10
Sarina R. Saturn ’09
Stephane Côté ’08
Gerben Van Kleef ’07
Adam Cohen ’06
Disa Sauter ’06

Past Lab Managers

Galen McNeil ’15

Past Undergrads

Liz Castle ’10
Sunny Dutra ’08
Alex Kogan ’08
Jared Torre ’08
Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk ’07
Mary Liu ’06
Ilmo van der Löwe ’06
Lia Kraemer ’04
Yoel Inbar ’00

Check out our lab family tree here