On this week’s episode, Dacher Keltner joins us to discuss Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life (Penguin Press, Jan. 3). Keltner, a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of its Greater Good Science Center, has spent decades studying emotions, social interaction, conflict, negotiation, and culture. He is the author of the bestseller Born To Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life and served as a consultant on the 2015 Pixar film Inside Out, which personified the emotions inside a young girl named Riley.

In Awe, Keltner shares his professional insights and personal encounters with “the emotion we experience when we encounter vast mysteries that we don’t understand.” He explores popular sources of this emotion—including collective effervescence, nature, music, personal epiphanies, and the marvels of life and death—and makes a strong case for why we could all do with more awe in our lives. “Through stories from a wide variety of careers, callings, situations, and perspectives,” Kirkus writes in an admiring review of Awe, “the author explores the kind of deeply embedded first-person spiritual and emotional truths that ‘science simply cannot capture’.…Keltner ably renders these transformative, defining moments with illuminative prose and encouragement for readers seeking their own awe-inspired deliverance.”

Keltner and host Megan Labrise discuss the definition of awe; how we know when we’re experiencing awe, somatically speaking; how awe transforms us; how often the average American experiences awe; the personal experience of awe that inspired Keltner to write the book; finding meaning in one’s work; and much more.

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