Why It's a Bad Idea to Tell Students Words Are Violence
— July 18, 2017
By Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff
Recently, the psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett, a highly respected emotion researcher at Northeastern University, published an essay in The New York Times titled, “When is speech violence?” She offered support from neuroscience and health-psychology research for students who want to use the word “violence” in this expansive way. The essay made two points that we think are valid and important, but it drew two inferences from those points that we think are invalid.
First valid point: Chronic stress can cause physical damage. Feldman Barrett cited research on the ways that chronic (not short-term) stressors “can make you sick, alter your brain—even kill neurons—and shorten your life.” The research here is indeed clear.
Read full article as published by The Atlantic.
Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership.