Richie Davidson on Altered Traits

Co-presented by Berkeley Arts & Letters

  • Venue: The Hillside Club, Berkeley
  • Date: September 18, 2017
  • Time: 7:30 PM (Doors open at 7)
  • Price: $12-$47 (discount for GGSC members)

A trailblazers of the American mindfulness movement discusses his new book with Daniel Goleman, Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body.

In the last 20 years, meditation and mindfulness have gone from being kind of cool to becoming an omnipresent Band-Aid for everything from your weight to your relationship to your achievement level. Unveiling the kind of cutting-edge research that has made them giants in their fields, Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson show us the truth about what meditation can really do for us, as well as exactly how to get the most out of it.

Sweeping away common misconceptions and neuromythology to open readers eyes to the ways data has been distorted to sell mind-training methods, Goleman and Davidson demonstrate in Altered Traits that beyond the pleasantstatesmental exercises can produce, the real payoffs are the lasting personalitytraitsthat can result. But short daily doses will not get us to the highest level of lasting positive changeeven if we continue for yearswithout specific additions. More than sheer hours, we need smart practice, including crucial ingredients such as targeted feedback from a master teacher and a more spacious, less attached view of the self, all of which are missing in widespread versions of mind training. The authors also reveal the latest data from Davidsons own lab that point to a new methodology for developing a broader array of mind-training methods with larger implications for how we can derive the greatest benefits from the practice.

Moderated  by Dacher Keltner, Director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. 

PLEASE NOTE: This event originally featured Daniel Goleman, but due to unforeseen events, he will not be able to join. The presentation should still be fascinating!

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    Richie Davidson

    Richie J. Davidson, Ph.D., is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984. He has published more than 375 articles, numerous chapters and reviews and edited 14 books. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of The Emotional Life of Your Brain published by Penguin in 2012. He is co-author, with Daniel Goleman, of Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body.

    Davidson is the recipient of numerous awards for his research, including the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society.  In 2000 he received the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Awardthe most distinguished award for science given by the American Psychological Association. He was the Founding Co-Editor of the new American Psychological Association journal EMOTION. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2006. In 2011, he was given the Paul D. MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine.

    He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences from 2011-2017 and member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Mental Health for 2014-2016. His research is broadly focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing including meditation and related contemplative practices.  

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    Dacher Keltner

    Dacher Keltner, Ph.D, is a founder of the Greater Good Science Center and its director. After receiving his Ph.D. from Stanford University, Dacher has devoted his career to studying the nature of human goodness, conducting ground-breaking research on compassion, awe, laughter, and love. He is also a leading expert on social intelligence, the psychology of power, and the emotional bases of morality. He has written more than 100 scientific papers and two best-selling textbooks, Social Psychology and Understanding Emotions. More recently, he is the author of the best-selling book The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence and Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, and a co-editor of the Greater Good anthology, The Compassionate Instinct.

    Dacher is an outstanding speaker who has received several national research and teaching awards. Wired has rated the podcasts of his “Human Emotion” course as one of the five best academic podcasts in the country. He has twice presented his research to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as part of a continuing dialogue between the Dalai Lama and scientists, and his work is featured regularly in major media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, and NPR. In 2008, the Utne Reader named him as one of 50 visionaries who are changing our world.

The Hillside Club is in North Berkeley, at the corner of Cedar and Arch streets, four blocks east of Shattuck. 

The nearest BART station is Downtown Berkeley. From there, AC Transit bus 7 will take you to the corner of Shattuk and Cedar.

Street parking is available, but may take some time to secure. Be sure to give yourself some extra time!