Jonathan Haidt — The Psychology Behind Morality

June 12, 2014

The surprising psychology behind morality is at the heart of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s research. “When it comes to moral judgments," he says, "we think we are scientists discovering the truth, but actually we are lawyers arguing for positions we arrived at by other means.” He explains “liberal” and “conservative” not narrowly or necessarily as political affiliations, but as personality types — ways of moving through the world. His own self-described “conservative-hating, religion-hating, secular liberal instincts” have been challenged by his own studies.


Jonathan Haidt is the author of the bestselling book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. He is Professor of Ethical Leadership at The Stern School of Business at New York University.