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Ep134 - Dacher Keltner

  • Broadcast in Education
Mixed Mental Arts

Mixed Mental Arts


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As a professor of psychology at UC Berkley and the founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center, Dacher Keltner studies how we negotiate our relationships with others. After having Robert Greene, the author of The 48 Laws of Power on the show, we came across an article on The Greater Good’s website by Keltner refuting the model of power advocated in The 48 Laws of Power. Although the popular culture believes that power is obtained through lying, cheating and manipulation research shows that that Machiavellian approach tends to fail in mainstream American society. In this episode, Professor Keltner tells us exactly what the research shows us about power. How power is acquired? Do manipulators succeed over the long run? How does acquiring power affect people’s brains? Interestingly, the sort of power strategies that Machiavelli described do work in societies where trust has been destroyed like the incredibly violent world of 15th Century Italy where Machiavelli wrote. Is it any wonder that some of the people who responded most strongly to the Machiavellian 48 Laws of Power are the rappers and prisoners people whole live in a world where trust is utterly lacking? Fortunately, as violence decreases worldwide and trust and transparency increase, there’s less and less room for Machiavellians. The surprising truth is that the way to power is more and more about cooperation and consensus-building. There are many excellent articles available at http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/. You can also follow them @GreaterGoodSC. Professor Keltner is the author of Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life and The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness. Both books are available on Amazon...and everywhere else. Be sure to rate and comment in iTunes. Also, you can find the show on Stitcher.