Bio

Short Bio

Jonathan HaidtJonathan Haidt (pronounced “height”) is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, and taught for 16 years in the department of psychology at the University of Virginia

Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures––including the cultures of progressive, conservatives, and libertarians. His goal is to help people understand each other, live and work near each other, and even learn from each other despite their moral differences. Haidt has co-founded a variety of organizations and collaborations that apply moral and social psychology toward that end, including HeterodoxAcademy.orgOpenMindPlatform.org, and EthicalSystems.org.

Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, and of The New York Times bestsellers The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, and The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (co-authored with Greg Lukianoff). He has written more than 100 academic articles. In 2019 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was chosen by Prospect magazine as one of the world’s “Top 50 Thinkers.”  He has given four TED talks.

Mission Statement

My mission is to study moral psychology and use that knowledge to help important institutions and systems work better

The institutions and systems I work on are:

1) Universities: I co-founded HeterodoxAcademy.org, I co-wrote The Coddling of the American Mind, and I serve on the advisory board of the University of Austin.

2) Corporations: I founded EthicalSystems.org, I will be writing a book on capitalism and morality, and I serve on the advisory board of Acumen fund.

3) Liberal democracy: I co-founded OpenMindPlatform.org, I wrote The Righteous Mind, I wrote an essay on how nationalism beats globalism, I’m writing a book on Life After Babel, and I serve on the board of BraverAngels.org and the advisory board of Persuasion.

4) Schools and families that are overprotecting kids: I co-wrote The Coddling of the American Mind, and I co-founded LetGrow.org and serve on its board.

5) Social Media: I am active in the community of researchers who are studying the transformative effects of social media on teen mental health, and on liberal democracy. We are searching for reforms and norms that will create better social media. I serve on the advisory board of the Center for Humane Technology.

Long Bio

Jonathan HaidtJonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

He received his B. A. from Yale University in 1985 and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He then did post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago and in Orissa, India. He was a professor at the University of Virginia from 1995 until 2011, when he joined the Stern School of Business.

Haidt is a social psychologist whose research focuses on morality––its emotional foundations, cultural variations, and developmental course. He began his career studying the negative moral emotions, such as disgust, shame, and vengeance, but then moved on to the understudied positive moral emotions, such as admiration, awe, and moral elevation.

He is the co-developer of Moral Foundations Theory, and of the research site YourMorals.org. He uses his research to help people understand and respect the moral motives of people with whom they disagree (see CivilPolitics.org). He won three teaching awards from the University of Virginia and one from the governor of Virginia. His four TED talks have been viewed more than 6 million times. (Those talks are on political psychology, on religion, on the causes of America’s political polarization,  and on how America can heal after the bitter 2016 election.)

He was named a “top 100 global thinker” in 2012 by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the 65 “World Thinkers of 2013” by Prospect magazine. He is the author of more than 90 academic articles and three books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006), The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012), and The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (2018, co-authored with Greg Lukianoff). The last two books became New York Times best sellers.

At NYU-Stern, he is applying his research on moral psychology to business ethics, asking how companies can structure and run themselves in ways that will be resistant to ethical failures (see EthicalSystems.org). Haidt is also working on increasing viewpoint diversity in the academy via Heterodox Academy, a collaboration among nearly 2500 professors who are working to increase viewpoint diversity and freedom of inquiry in universities. He is also the co-developer of OpenMindPlatform.org, an educational program that teaches people and groups how to have productive conversations across many lines of difference. His next book will be  Three Stories About Capitalism: The Moral Psychology of Economic Life expected in 2021, from Pantheon Press.

Additional Resources

Jonathan HaidtNYU academic home page, including links to all my publications

Curriculum vitae (CV), listing awards and publications

> High resolution photos by Jayne Riew:  more formal 6MB, or  less formal 4MB, [To download the images, right-click on either linked name and select “save link as”.]

> For speaking engagements, see my page at Washington Speakers Bureau