I am a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. My mission is to use research on moral psychology to help people understand each other and to help important social institutions work better.




Areas of Research





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The Coddling of the American Mind

Gen Z is suffering from rapidly rising rates of anxiety, depression, and fragility. This book explains why, and how to reverse the trends.

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The Righteous Mind

This is a comprehensive yet easily readable account of human morality, which enabled us to create civilizations, but set us up for constant conflict too.

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Happiness hypothesis book cover

The Happiness Hypothesis

This book analyzes ten great ideas, discovered across cultures and millennia, and uses them to lay out a path to flourishing today.

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All Minus One

John Stuart Mill’s three timeless arguments for the value of viewpoint diversity and freedom of speech. This book is ch. 2 of On Liberty, condensed and illustrated for a modern audience.

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TED Interview: Can a Divided America Heal?

On Real Time with Bill Maher, Oct 2018

AGPA Conference, Mar 2020

RSA Talk: Why a 21st Century Enlightenment Needs Walls

Major Articles

The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail

in  Psychological Review, 2001


The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology

in Science, 2007


Understanding Libertarian Morality: The Psychological Dispositions of Self-Identified Libertarians

in PLoS One, 2012, with Ravi Iyer, Spassena Koleva, Jesse Graham, and Peter Ditto

Make Business Ethics a Cumulative Science

In Nature Human Behavior, (2017), with Linda Trevino


Recent Essays

The Dark Psychology of Social Networks

with Tobias Rose-Stockwell

Why it feels like everything is going haywire.

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Girl sitting inside phone

The Dangerous Experiment on Teen Girls

Analyzes the published evidence and shows that the preponderance of it indicates that social media is causing real harm to teen girls.

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Monomania Is Illiberal and Stupefying


Educational institutions have a duty to oppose monomania and to lead students out of its stupefying embrace

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Projects I Co-Founded

Ethical Systems

A collaboration of 26 leading researchers studying ethics in organizations

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Open Mind

A psychology-based educational platform designed to depolarize campuses, companies, and communities

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Heterodox Academy

A collaboration among 5000 professors promoting open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement within universities

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Let Grow

Helping parents and schools to let children learn and grow from experience by giving them more free play and autonomy, less fear and oversupervision

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Moral Foundations Theory

A collaboration among social psychologists who study the foundations of morality, in hopes of reducing conflict and polarization

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