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.


Joseph Ocampo
Graduate Student


Everett Wetchler
Graduate Student


Rebecca Corona
Graduate Student


My Dao
Graduate Student


Post Docs and Visiting Scholars

Aakash Chowkase, PhD
Yang Bai, PhD


Research Associates


Gene Hightower, PhD
Gene Hightower is a licensed clinical psychologist who has spent most of his professional career serving vulnerable populations. He is American Indian and is descendant from the Choctaw, Cherokee, and Creek tribes. He is a member of the Society of Indian Psychologists and serves as the spokesperson of their Good Relatives Initiative. He is a past Director of Clinical Services at the Native American Health Services Oakland. He has taught Native American Psychology at UC Berkeley and Stanford. He published a book on Counseling Native American Indians In 2019 and is editor of a textbook on Native American Indian Psychosocial Identity that is currently in progress at Oxford University Press. His undergraduate education in Social Relations was at Harvard, he completed a Masters in Community Mental Health at UC Berkeley, a doctorate in Social Clinical Psychology at the Wright Institute, a clinical internship in community psychology at UCSF and was a postdoctoral fellow in personality development at UC Berkeley.



Past Grad Alumni

Maria Monroy ’22
Paul Connor ’21
Daniel Stancato ’20
Alan Cowen ’19
Laura Maruskin ’19
Hooria Jazaieri ’18
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

Matt Killingsworth ’17
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