Faculty News

Prof. Jonathan Haidt is interviewed about his book, "The Righteous Mind"

Excerpt from CBS News -- "When I was a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1980s, I set for myself the task of trying to figure out what morality really is. Where does it come from? Why is it so variable around the world, yet at the same time, you see the same basic elements (such as reciprocity, care, loyalty, and authority) repeated over and over again? I studied how morality varied between India, the USA, and Brazil. But after John Kerry's loss to George W. Bush in the presidential election of 2004, the Charlottesville Democratic Association asked me to give a talk on how liberals and conservatives differ. I found that the ideas I had developed to compare different countries worked quite well to compare different sides of the political spectrum. After that talk, I decided to change my research to focus on the left-right divide, which was (and still is) tearing America apart. "The Righteous Mind" is my effort to explain that divide, while at the same time answering the question I set out to answer in grad school: what is morality, and where does it come from?"

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