Essays

Featured essays by Jonathan Haidt

Scrutinizing the effects of digital technology on mental health (Dialogue with Nick Allen)
(February 10th, 2020)
A collegial debate on whether social media has adverse outcomes on adolescent mental health

The Atlantic website logo

Why it feels like everything is going haywire (with Tobias Rose-Stockwell) (December 2019)
Explores the many ways in which today’s social-media platforms create conditions that may be hostile to democracies success

The Guardian logo

By mollycoddling our children, we’re fuelling mental illness in teenagers (January 10th, 2019)
Reviews trends in adolescent mental health and offer advice for parents on raising antifragile kids

The New York Times logo

How to play our way to a better democracy (with Greg Lukianoff) (September 1st, 2018)
Democracy demands teamwork, compromise, respect for rules and a willingness to engage with other opinionated, vociferous individuals. It also demands practice. This article explains why the playground may be the best place to practice

City Journal

The Age of Outrage: What the current political climate is doing to our country and our universities
(German translation is here) (December 17th, 2017)
This essay is an edited version of my Wriston Lecture for the Manhattan Institute, delivered on November 15th

Reason website logo

The Fragile Generation (with Lenore Skenazy) (October 26th, 2017)
Explores how bad policy and paranoid parenting are making kids “too safe to succeed”

The Atlantic website logo

Trump Breaks a Taboo—and Pays the Price (August 21st, 2017)
Makes the case that taboo and sacredness are among the most important words needed to understand Charlottesville and its aftermath

The Atlantic website logo

Why It’s a Bad Idea to Tell Students Words Are Violence (July 18th, 2017)
Explains why the idea that “speech is sometimes violence” on college campuses will make students more anxious and more willing to justify harm

The Atlantic website logo

It’s disadvantaged groups that suffer most when free speech is curtailed on campus (With Musa Al-Gharbi) (July 8th, 2017)
Explains why we agree with Harvard’s President, Drew Faust, who warned in her commencement address that any effort to limit some speech “opens the dangerous possibility that the speech that is ultimately censored may be our own” 

Intimidation is the new normal on campus (April 26th, 2017)
Explains why any speaker who arouses a protest may now be at risk of a beating

The Wall Street Journal logo

How to Get Beyond our Tribal Politics [Cover Story in Saturday Review] (November 5th, 2016)
Written just before the 2016 election, offering ideas from moral psychology and ancient cultures for turning down hatred and living with people who hold different political beliefs.

The American Interest logo

When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism (July 10th, 2016)
As nationalist movements were expanding in Europe, in 2016, I wrote this to explain the psychological forces that drive voters to support nationalism, forces that more “cosmopolitan” globalists often misunderstand

The Wall Street Journal logo

Hard Truths About Race on Campus [Cover Story in Saturday Review] (May 6th, 2016)
Explains why some of the tactics used on college campuses to reduce racial divisions sometimes backfire

The Guardian logo

How Concept Creep is Closing Down Minds (April 10th, 2016)
I wrote this with Australian psychologist Nick Haslam, to explain his important idea of “concept creep” and how it plays out on university campuses in the UK and USA

 

Moral psychology: An exchange. [Response to T. Shaw] (April 7th, 2016)

The ethics of globalism, nationalism, and patriotism. Minding Nature, 9:3.
A deeper exploration of the psychology and morality of globalists and nationalists, going beyond my earlier essay on this in The American Interest

Donald Trump supporters think about morality differently than other voters. (February 5th, 2016)
Uses Moral Foundations Theory to help explain why Americans vote for the candidates they vote for, in primary elections where they have a choice within their party

The strongest prejudice was identified. Edge.org, annual question.
Explains why cross-partisan prejudice should become a focus of concern and research

The Atlantic website logo

The Coddling of the American Mind [Cover story] (September 2015)
This is the most widely read and most influential article I have ever written. It developed Greg Lukianoff’s insight that many college students were engaging in the same cognitive distortions he had learned how to stop doing when he learned how to do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Washington Post logo

The top 10 reasons American politics is so broken (January 7th, 2015)
Explains that the destructive dynamic between Democrats and Republicans is the result of at least 10 trends that have played out over the past half-century

Time Magazine logo

Your personality makes your politics (January 9th, 2014)
Includes a brief on-line and indirect measure of political orientation

Democracy Journal logo

Of Freedom and Fairness (Spring 2013)
Gives my analysis of the new front line in the American culture war

The Washington Post logo

Moral values and the fiscal cliff (November 16th, 2012)
With Hal Movius. Offers advice on how to negotiate when sacred values make compromise much more difficult.

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OpEd: We need a little fear (November 7th, 12)
Presents the “asteroids” metaphor, and the claim that each side sees some of the threats facing America but is blind to others

Saturday Evening Post logo

America’s Painful Divide (September 2012)
A condensed version of ch. 12. of The Righteous Mind

The New York Times logo

Look how far we’ve come apart (September 18th, 2012)

The Wall Street Journal logo

What is wrong with those Tea Partiers? [On Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball] (February 2010)

Obama’s moral majority (February 2009)

What have you changed your mind about? [reprinted in: J. Brockman (Ed.). New York: HarperCollins] (2008)

The baby boomers will soon retire. [Reprinted in: J. Brockman (Ed.). What are you optimistic about? New York: Harper Perennial] (2007)

Honey I shrunk the President (December 16th, 2007)

The Spirit of Dharmacracy (January 14th, 2007)

Free Inquiry

Humans are Hive Creatures Free Inquiry, 26, p.47. (2006)

Higher Ground (January/February issue, 2006, p.49)

Wired to be inspired (March 1st, 2005)

Featured profiles of Jonathan Haidt

The Atlantic website logo

Jonathan Haidt is Trying to Heal America’s Divisions (written by Peter Wehner) (May 24th, 2020)

 

The Thought Leader Interview: Jonathan Haidt (written by Ann Graham) (February 1st, 2016)

Jonathan Haidt Decodes the Tribal Psychology of Politics (written by Marc Parry) (January 29th, 2012)