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Our Contentious Culture

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Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explains how liberals and conservatives see the world differently. This is a long video, but it is truly interesting and informative about modern political and social discourse.

Jonathan Haidt is a professor of social psychology at the University of Virginia and the Henry Kaufman Visiting Professor of Business Ethics at the NYU-Stern School of Business for the 2011-2012 academic year. His current research focuses on the moral foundations of politics and on ways liberals and conservatives can move beyond the culture wars and engage in more civil forms of politics and discourse.

Haidt is the author of the forthcoming book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, to be published in March 2012. In the book, Haidt explains the evolution of morality — how we evolved to have different morals, and how these differences can bind us together into groups that seek victory, not truth, and blind us to our own predispositions. In an era of increasing political polarization, he strives to strengthen understanding and dialogue rather than falling back on the usual partisan accusations of “You just don’t get it!”

To take a quiz about your own moral foundations, visit his website YourMorals.org; to learn more about his research on improving political discourse visit CivilPolitics.org.

To read an excerpt from the book, go here.

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Written by Valerie Curl

February 6, 2012 at 9:27 AM

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