Cory Leonard

Jonathan Haidt Decodes the Tribal Psychology of Politics – The Chronicle Review

In politics on February 16, 2012 at 6:10 am

An explainer of culture wars, partisanship, and the political brain–social psychologist Jonathan Haidt developed a model that may not (yet) work as a touchstone for politicos, but it can help us better understand why we hold the views that we do, and how to engage with others more effectively.

Now Haidt wants to change how people think about the culture wars. He first plunged into political research out of frustration with John Kerry’s failure to connect with voters in 2004. A partisan liberal, the University of Virginia professor hoped a better grasp of moral psychology could help Democrats sharpen their knives. But a funny thing happened. Haidt, now a visiting professor at New York University, emerged as a centrist who believes that “conservatives have a more accurate understanding of human nature than do liberals.”

In March, Haidt will publish The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Pantheon). By laying out the science of morality—how it binds people into “groupish righteousness” and blinds them to their own biases—he hopes to drain some vitriol from public debate and enable conversations across ideological divides.

via Jonathan Haidt Decodes the Tribal Psychology of Politics – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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