The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion ~ Jonathan Haidt [updated May 28, 2013]

As America descends deeper into polarization and paralysis, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done the seemingly impossible—challenged conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum. Drawing on his twenty five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, he shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns. In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives you the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts. If you’re ready to trade in anger for understanding, read The Righteous Mind.

Jonathan Haidt (pronounced “height”) is a social psychologist at the NYU-Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, and spent most of his career (1995-2011) at the University of Virginia. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures. In recent years he has examined the moral cultures of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians. Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis, and of the New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.

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BookTV: Jonathan Haidt, “The Righteous Mind”


Jonathan Haidt, psychology professor at the University of Virginia, presents his thoughts on the current political and social divisions that he contends separate the Left and the Right. The social psychologist examines the origins of these fissures and explains that people’s moral intuition, the initial perceptions we have of others, propagates the idea that people who view the world differently from how we do are wrong.

Mr. Haidt discusses how the populace can engage in a more civil debate on the issues of the day at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

Why Do We Disagree Politically?


Politics can be divisive. There is an ‘us,’ and there is a ‘them.’ Author Jonathan Haidt joins The Agenda as we examine why politics is sometimes so polarizing.

Dalai Lama talks with Jonathan Haidt


The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet spoke as part of a panel on “Secular Ethics: Origins, Elements and Their Function in Society” before an audience of 1,200 at USC’s Bovard Auditorium during his first visit to the University of Southern California May 3, 2011.

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