Session VII: Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt joins us to discuss his bestselling book "The Happiness Hypothesis" and his recent work on the intersection of morality and emotions across different cultures. 


Date: Tuesday, January 31st, 2012. 6 - 8pm

Location: The University Club - One West 54th Street, NYC

Dress Code: Jacket and Tie

Other: Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served 




 Professor, Psychologist & Best-Selling Author

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies morality and emotion in the context of culture. He asks: Why did humans evolve to have morals -- and why did we all evolve to have such different morals, to the point that our moral differences may make us deadly enemies? It's a question with deep repercussions in war and peace -- and in modern politics, where reasoned discourse has been replaced by partisan anger and cries of "You just don't get it!"

Haidt asks, "Can't we all disagree more constructively?" He suggests we might build a more civil and productive discourse by understanding the moral psychology of those we disagree with, and committing to a more civil political process. He's also active in the study of positive psychology and human flourishing.

Learn more about his drive for a more productive and civil politics -- and sign a pledge to engage in civil politics -- on his website And take an eye-opening quiz about your own morals at

In September 2009, Jonathan Haidt spoke to the TED Blog about the moral psychology behind the healthcare debate in the United States.

JONATHAN HAIDT is Professor in the Social Psychology area of the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he does research on morality and emotion, and how they vary across cultures.

He studies morality, its emotional foundations, cultural variations, and developmental course. His early research on moral intuition changed the field of moral psychology, moving it away from its previous focus on moral reasoning.

His current work on the "five foundations of morality" is changing the field again, moving it beyond its traditional focus on issues of harm and fairness, and drawing attention to the moral issues that animate political conservatives and religious believers.

Haidt has published 75 academic articles, in Science, Psychological Review,and other leading journals. He is the co-editor of Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well Lived, and is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.




The real difference between Liberals and Conservatives

Dalai Lama talks with Jonathan Haidt

Major articles: 
        The Emotional Dog and its Rational Tail (in Psychological Review, 2001)

       The New Synthesis in Moral Psychology (in Science, 2007)
        Moral Psychology and the Misunderstanding of Religion (on, 2007)

      Morality (a comprehensive review of moral psych, Handbook of Social Psych, 2010)


Recent political essays:

     The moral foundations of Occupy Wall Street at

     Why we celebrate a killing. (New York Times, Op-Ed, 5/7/2011)

     What the tea partiers really want (Wall St. Journal, 10/16/10)

     My posts on the Blog 
     My posts on the Blog