Peter Wogan


Peter Wogan, Ph.D., is a professor of anthropology at Willamette University. His interest in wishing wells stems from his 10 years of fieldwork at a Mexican-American corner store in Salem, Oregon, which led him to consider similar questions about money, community, trust, and magic. For more details, see his forthcoming book, Corner-Store Dreams and the 2008 Financial Crisis: A True Story about Risk, Entrepreneurship, Immigration,and Latino-Anglo Friendship, to be published April 2017 by Palgrave Macmillan. Peter has spent the past three years supervising his students’ research on wishing wells, based on interviews, participant observation, and surveys. His other publications and web essays cover myth and ritual in various contexts, including Hollywood movies and American sports. Please contact the author at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Stories by Peter Wogan

Articles: Why Do We Throw Coins in Fountains?

By Peter Wogan | January 26, 2017

This simple ritual offers clues about how we experience awe, society, and collective belonging.




Greater Good Events

The Science of Burnout: What Is It, Why It Happens, and How to Avoid It
International House at UC Berkeley
April 29, 2017
6 CE Hours

The Science of Burnout: What Is It, Why It Happens, and How to Avoid It

A day-long semiar with GGSC Science Director Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., celebrated compassion teacher Joan Halifax, burnout expert Christina Maslach, Ph.D., and UCLA psychiatrist Elizabeth Bromley, M.D., Ph.D.


Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!


Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.


Greater Good Resources


Book of the Week

How Pleasure Works By Paul Bloom Bloom explores a broad range of human pleasures from food to sex to religion to music. Bloom argues that human pleasure is not purely an instinctive, superficial, sensory reaction; it has a hidden depth and complexity.

Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.
"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

thnx advertisement