Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt
New York University | NYU · Department of Business and Society Program Area

About

133
Publications
231,108
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
45,167
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (133)
Preprint
Moral Foundations Theory has been a generative framework in moral psychology in the last two decades. Here, we revisit the theory and develop a new measurement tool, the Moral Foundations Questionnaire-2 (MFQ-2), based on data from 25 populations. We demonstrate empirically that Equality and Proportionality are distinct moral foundations while reta...
Article
Full-text available
Do clashes between ideologies reflect policy differences or something more fundamental? The present research suggests they reflect core psychological differences such that liberals express compassion toward less structured and more encompassing entities (i.e., universalism), whereas conservatives express compassion toward more well-defined and less...
Article
Full-text available
Various forms of self-loss have been described as aspects of mental illness (e.g., depersonalization disorder), but might self-loss also be related to mental health? In this integrative review and proposed organizational framework, we focus on self-transcendent experiences (STEs)—transient mental states marked by decreased self-salience and increas...
Article
Business ethics research is not currently a cumulative science, but it must become one. The benefits to humanity from research that helps firms improve their ethics could be enormous, especially if that research also shows that strong ethics improves the effectiveness of companies.
Preprint
Many methods for reducing implicit prejudice have been identified, but little is known about their relative effectiveness. We held a research contest to experimentally compare interventions for reducing the expression of implicit racial prejudice. Teams submitted seventeen interventions that were tested an average of 3.70 times each in four studies...
Article
Nick Haslam's forthcoming paper, titled "Concept Creep" (available on SSRN) shows that many concepts in psychology have changed over time (e.g., bullying, trauma, addiction). Meanings shift so that these concepts apply to more phenomena and smaller phenomena. In this paper I extend Haslam’s analysis to explain why they change in one direction only:...
Article
Full-text available
Are social conservatives the only ones who use concerns about sacred objects or practices when making moral judgments, such as when they defend the ''sanctity of marriage''? Or do liberals condemn sacrilege too? A third possibility is that all talk about sanctity and sacrilege is merely post hoc justification of moral judgments based solely on the...
Article
Full-text available
In our target article, we made four claims: (1) Social psychology is now politically homogeneous; (2) this homogeneity sometimes harms the science; (3) increasing political diversity would reduce this damage; and (4) some portion of the homogeneity is due to a hostile climate and outright discrimination against non-liberals. In this response, we re...
Chapter
We review the contribution of psychological science to the field of business ethics by discussing three major shifts that have occurred in scholarly work in the area. The first shift occurred from the cognitive-developmental perspective, at a time when moral reasoning was thought to be a rational mental process. The second shift advanced the role o...
Article
Moral narratives have a substantive effect on the research conclusions of economists. This is one of the findings from a recent survey of economists that we conducted, which found a relationship between views on empirical economic propositions and moral judgments. This finding may help to answer the question this symposium asks: Why don’t U.S. econ...
Chapter
I study the ways that emotions and other motivations bias moral reasoning, and I inadvertently demonstrated the thesis while trying to prove it. I had just finished my first postdoc and had failed to get an academic job. I found another postdoc and was desperate to get more manuscripts under review at top journals before sending in the next year’s...
Article
Is it possible to use the moral judgments of economists to predict their findings on positive, empirical economic propositions? We consider this question using data we collected using a questionnaire of positive and normative economic propositions, as well as a series of propositions used for measuring moral intuitions. Our analysis of economists’...
Article
Full-text available
Psychologists have demonstrated the value of diversity—particularly diversity of viewpoints—for enhancing creativity, discovery, and problem solving. But one key type of viewpoint diversity is lacking in academic psychology in general and social psychology in particular: political diversity. This article reviews the available evidence and finds sup...
Article
Although core, animal-reminder, and contamination disgust are viewed as distinct ‘types’ of disgust vulnerabilities, the extent to which individual differences in the three disgust domains uniquely predict contamination-related anxiety and avoidance remains unclear. Three studies were conducted to fill this important gap in the literature. Study 1...
Article
Many methods for reducing implicit prejudice have been identified, but little is known about their relative effectiveness. We held a research contest to experimentally compare interventions for reducing the expression of implicit racial prejudice. Teams submitted seventeen interventions that were tested an average of 3.70 times each in four studies...
Chapter
Where does morality come from? Why are moral judgments often so similar across cultures, yet sometimes so variable? Is morality one thing, or many? Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) was created to answer these questions. In this chapter, we describe the origins, assumptions, and current conceptualization of the theory and detail the empirical findings...
Article
Disgust is linked to social evaluation. People with higher disgust sensitivity exhibit more sexual prejudice, and inducing disgust increases sexual prejudice. We tested whether inducing moral elevation, the theoretical opposite of disgust, would reduce sexual prejudice. In four studies (N = 3622), we induced elevation with inspiring videos and then...
Article
Lawrence Kohlberg slayed the two dragons of twentieth-century psychology—behaviorism and psychoanalysis. His victory was a part of the larger cognitive revolution that shaped the world in which all of us study psychology and education today. But the cognitive revolution itself was modified by later waves of change, particularly an ‘affective revolu...
Article
A recent paper by Tybur and colleagues presents a theory of the evolved functions of disgust based on biological evolution. This work furthers our understanding of disgust and is the first to detail the computational mechanisms involved in detecting and evaluating disgust-related risks. However, because this approach ignores the powerful role of cu...
Article
Full-text available
Aristotle considered moral beauty to be the telos of the human virtues. Displays of moral beauty have been shown to elicit the moral emotion of elevation and cause a desire to become a better person and to engage in prosocial behavior. Study 1 (N = 5380) shows engagement with moral beauty is related to several psychological constructs relevant to m...
Conference Paper
Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist whose work has elucidated basic, and often conflicting, dimensions of moral impulses. Author of the recent (2012) The Righteous Mind, he has argued that understanding these differences partially clarifies the intensity of religious and political differences. His talk will describe evidence showing how the rig...
Article
Disgust is linked to social evaluation. People with higher disgust sensitivity exhibit more sexual prejudice (Inbar, Pizarro, Knobe, & Bloom, 2009), and inducing disgust increases sexual prejudice (Dasgupta, DeSteno, Williams, & Hunsinger, 2009). We tested whether inducing moral elevation, the theoretical opposite of disgust, would reduce sexual pr...
Article
Where does morality come from? Why are moral judgments often so similar across cultures, yet sometimes so variable? Is morality one thing, or many? Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) was created to answer these questions. In this chapter we describe the origins, assumptions, and current conceptualization of the theory, and detail the empirical findings...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the moral stereotypes political liberals and conservatives have of themselves and each other. In reality, liberals endorse the individual-focused moral concerns of compassion and fairness more than conservatives do, and conservatives endorse the group-focused moral concerns of ingroup loyalty, respect for authorities and traditions,...
Article
Full-text available
Purity is commonly regarded as being physically embodied in the color white, with even trivial deviations from whiteness indicating a loss of purity. In three studies, we explored the implications of this "white = pure" association for disgust, an emotion that motivates the detection and avoidance of impurities that threaten purity and cleanliness....
Article
In two large samples (combined N = 31,045), we found a positive relationship between disgust sensitivity and political conservatism. This relationship held when controlling for a number of demographic variables as well as the “Big Five” personality traits. Disgust sensitivity was also associated with more conservative voting in the 2008 U.S. presid...
Article
Full-text available
Libertarians are an increasingly prominent ideological group in U.S. politics, yet they have been largely unstudied. Across 16 measures in a large web-based sample that included 11,994 self-identified libertarians, we sought to understand the moral and psychological characteristics of self-described libertarians. Based on an intuitionist view of mo...
Article
Full-text available
Prosocially oriented individuals tend to respond to care-relevant stimuli in a highly embodied manner. Research on facets of prosocial orientation-such as empathy-and embodiment has focused on processes triggered by the perception of others' distress or pain. We suspect that the predisposition among prosocially oriented individuals toward having em...
Article
Henrich and colleagues (2010) summarized cultural differences in psychology and argued that people from one particular culture are outliers: people from societies that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD). In this study, we show that liberals think WEIRDer than conservatives. In five studies with more than 3,000 parti...
Article
Full-text available
Most research investigating the neural basis of social emotions has examined emotions that give rise to negative evaluations of others (e.g. anger, disgust). Emotions triggered by the virtues and excellences of others have been largely ignored. Using fMRI, we investigated the neural basis of two "other-praising" emotions--Moral Elevation (a respons...
Article
Moral Foundations Theory (Haidt & Graham, 2007) explains the intractability of many political disagreements as the result of liberals and conservatives reacting to different patterns of intuitive moral concerns. Research using self-report measures has shown that liberals endorse the Care/harm and Fairness/cheating foundations but generally do not e...
Article
a b s t r a c t Commentators have noted that the issue stands taken by each side of the American ''culture war'' lack conceptual consistency and can even seem contradictory. We sought to understand the psychological underpinnings of culture war attitudes using Moral Foundations Theory. In two studies involving 24,739 participants and 20 such issues...
Article
At the age of 87, several years after he had stopped writing, Isaiah Berlin responded to an invitation from a Chinese professor to summarize his ideas for publication in China. He produced an extraordinary essay that defended moral pluralism and warned against its enemy, moral monism (or moral absolutism), which he defined as the thesis that "to al...
Article
Many methods for reducing implicit prejudice have been identified, but little is known about their relative effectiveness. We held a research contest to experimentally compare interventions for reducing the expression of implicit racial prejudice. Teams submitted seventeen interventions that were tested an average of 3.70 times each in four studies...
Article
Full-text available
Suppose you are an architect and you have recently completed a challenging project: designing and building a sturdy modern house on a sandy stretch of ground where several previous architects had failed. The shifting ground had cracked their one-piece rigid concrete foundations. You vowed not to repeat their mistakes, so you designed a novel founda...
Article
Full-text available
The moral domain is broader than the empathy and justice concerns assessed by existing measures of moral competence, and it is not just a subset of the values assessed by value inventories. To fill the need for reliable and theoretically grounded measurement of the full range of moral concerns, we developed the Moral Foundations Questionnaire on th...
Article
Moral emotions are evolved mechanisms that function in part to optimize social relationships. We discuss two moral emotions— disgust and the “cuteness response”—which modulate social-engagement motives in opposite directions, changing the degree to which the eliciting entity is imbued with mental states (i.e., mentalized). Disgust-inducing entities...
Article
Fairness is central to morality. Previous research has shown that children begin to understand fairness between the ages of four and six, depending on the context and method used. Within distributive contexts, there is little clear evidence that children have a concept of fairness before the age of five. This research, however, has mostly examined...
Article
Full-text available
Leaders influence followers in many ways; one way is by eliciting positive emotions. In three studies we demonstrate that the nearly unstudied moral emotion of 'elevation' (a reaction to moral excellence) mediates the relations between leaders' and their followers' ethical behavior. Study 1 used scenarios manipulated experimentally; study 2 examine...
Article
We used multiple methods to examine two questions about emotion and culture: (1) Which facial expressions are recognised cross-culturally; and (2) does the “forced-choice” method lead to spurious findings of universality? Forty participants in the US and 40 in India were shown 14 facial expressions and asked to say what had happened to cause the pe...
Article
Libertarians are an increasingly vocal ideological group in U.S. politics, yet they are understudied compared to liberals and conservatives. Much of what is known about libertarians is based on the writing of libertarian intellectuals and political leaders, rather than surveying libertarians in the general population. Across three studies, 15 measu...
Article
Narvaez (2010, this issue) calls for a moral psychology in which reasoning and intuitions are equal partners. But empirical research on the power of implicit processes and on the weakness of everyday reasoning indicates that the partnership is far from equal. The ancient rationalist faith that good reasoning can be taught and that it will lead to i...
Article
The two leading candidates for the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, had very similar policy positions and yet demonstrated appeal to disparate populations. Much has been written in the press about demographic differences between supporters of these candidates, but little is known about these groups’ p...
Article
Social psychologists have often followed other scientists in treating religiosity primarily as a set of beliefs held by individuals. But, beliefs are only one facet of this complex and multidimensional construct. The authors argue that social psychology can best contribute to scholarship on religion by being relentlessly social. They begin with a s...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter assesses the state of the art in moral psychology from a social-psychological perspective. We begin with the story of the “great narrowing” — the historical process in which morality got reduced from virtue-based conceptions of the good person down to quandaries about what people should do. We argue for a return to a broader conception...
Article
Full-text available
A long-standing puzzle for moral philosophers and psychologists alike is the concept of psychopathy, a personality disorder marked by tendencies to defy moral norms despite cognitive knowledge about right and wrong. Previously, discussions of the moral deficits of psychopathy have focused on willingness to harm and cheat others as well as reasoning...
Article
Full-text available
How and why do moral judgments vary across the political spectrum? To test moral foundations theory (J. Haidt & J. Graham, 2007; J. Haidt & C. Joseph, 2004), the authors developed several ways to measure people's use of 5 sets of moral intuitions: Harm/care, Fairness/reciprocity, Ingroup/loyalty, Authority/respect, and Purity/sanctity. Across 4 stu...
Article
Emotion research has something in common with a drunk searching for his car keys under a street lamp. “Where did you lose them?” asks the cop. “In the alley,” says the drunk, “but the light is so much better over here.” For emotion research, the light shines most brightly on the face, whose movements can be coded, compared across cultures, and quan...
Article
Full-text available
Resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSAREST) indexes important aspects of individual differences in emotionality. In the present investigation, the authors address whether RSAREST is associated with tonic positive or negative emotionality, and whether RSAREST relates to phasic emotional responding to discrete positive emotion-eliciting stimuli. A...
Article
Full-text available
Infantile physical morphology-marked by its "cuteness"-is thought to be a potent elicitor of caregiving, yet little is known about how cuteness may shape immediate behavior. To examine the function of cuteness and its role in caregiving, the authors tested whether perceiving cuteness can enhance behavioral carefulness, which would facilitate caring...
Chapter
This chapter discusses how moral psychology gives out proof and evidence on how it defines morality, the way it is not described by religion. It begins by stating the new synthesis in moral psychology: intuitive primacy but not dictatorship, moral thinking is for social doing, morality binds and builds, and morality is about more than harm and fair...
Article
Full-text available
The current study evaluates the factor structure of the Disgust Scale–Revised (DS-R) in eight countries: Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United States (N = 2,606). Confirmatory factor analysis is used to compare two different models of the DS-R and to investigate the invariance of the factor structure of t...
Article
The authors explore whether moral disgust is an elaboration of a food rejection system. According to the principle of preadaptation, a system that evolves for one purpose is later used for another purpose. From this viewpoint, disgust originates in the mammalian bitter taste rejection system, which directly activates a disgust output system. This p...
Article
People are often profoundly moved by the virtue or skill of others, yet psychology has little to say about the 'other-praising' family of emotions. Here we demonstrate that emotions such as elevation, gratitude, and admiration differ from more commonly studied forms of positive affect (joy and amusement) in many ways, and from each other in a few w...
Article
We examined the relationships between sensitivity to three kinds of disgust (core, animal-reminder, and contamination) and personality traits, behavioral avoidance, physiological responding, and anxiety disorder symptoms. Study 1 revealed that these disgusts are particularly associated with neuroticism and behavioral inhibition. Moreover, the three...
Article
Full-text available
How, and for whom, does disgust influence moral judgment? In four experiments participants made moral judgments while experiencing extraneous feelings of disgust. Disgust was induced in Experiment 1 by exposure to a bad smell, in Experiment 2 by working in a disgusting room, in Experiment 3 by recalling a physically disgusting experience, and in Ex...
Article
Full-text available
The emotion of gratitude is thought to have social effects, but empirical studies of such effects have focused largely on the repaying of kind gestures. The current research focused on the relational antecedents of gratitude and its implications for relationship formation. The authors examined the role of naturally occurring gratitude in college so...
Article
Full-text available
We consider three hypotheses about relatedness and well-being including the hive hypothesis, which says people need to lose themselves occasionally by becoming part of an emergent social organism in order to reach the highest levels of human flourishing. We discuss recent evolutionary thinking about multilevel selection, which offers a distal reaso...
Article
There is little extant research on the psychological or physiological response to witnessing good deeds. The authors call the emotional reaction to virtue "moral elevation" and the authors examined its effects on mother-infant dyads. Breastfeeding women who watched a morally elevating video were more likely to nurse their infants and were marginall...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter discusses how morality might be partially innate, meaning organized, to some extent, in advance of experience. It begins by arguing for a broader conception of morality and suggests that most of the discussion of innateness to date has not been about morality per se; it has been about whether the psychology of harm and fairness is inna...
Article
Full-text available
We propose that social psychological findings on the intuitive bases of moral judgment have broad implications for moral education. The "five foundations theory of intuitive ethics" is applied to explain a longstanding rift in moral education as an ideological disagreement about which moral intuitions should be endorsed and cultivated. The Kohlberg...
Article
Moral psychology is a rapidly growing field with two principle lineages. The main line began with Jean Piaget and includes developmental psychologists who have studied the acquisition of moral concepts and reasoning. The alternative line began in the 1990s with a new synthesis of evolutionary, neurological, and social-psychological research in whic...
Article
People are selfish, yet morally motivated. Morality is universal, yet culturally variable. Such apparent contradictions are dissolving as research from many disciplines converges on a few shared principles, including the importance of moral intuitions, the socially functional (rather than truth-seeking) nature of moral thinking, and the coevolution...
Article
We review the state of the art in moral psychology to answer 6 questions: 1) Where do moral beliefs and motivations come from? 2) How does moral judgment work? 3) What is the evidence for the social intuitionist model? 4) What exactly are the moral intuitions? 5) How does morality develop? And 6) Why do people vary in their morality? We describe th...
Article
Researchers in moral psychology and social justice have agreed that morality is about matters of harm, rights, and justice. On this definition of morality, conservative opposition to social justice programs appears to be immoral, and has been explained as a product of various non-moral processes such as system justification or social dominance orie...
Article
From the unity of moral intuitions to the diversity of virtuesMorality is obviously part of human nature, and at the same time morality is obviously a cultural construction. In this article we reconcile these two facts by proposing that there are (at least) four innate psychological modules, which act as foundations upon which all cultures construc...
Article
Most academic efforts to understand morality and ideology come from theorists who constrain the moral domain to issues of harm and fairness. For such theorists, conservative beliefs are puzzles requiring non-moral explanations. In contrast, we present the "five foundations theory of intuitive ethics," which broadens the moral domain to match the an...
Article
This is a book about ten Great Ideas. Each chapter is an attempt to savor one idea that has been discovered by several of the world's civilizations--to question it in light of what we now know from scientific research, and to extract from it the lessons that still apply to our modern lives. Helping people find happiness and meaning is precisely the...
Article
Full-text available
Highly hypnotizable participants were given a posthypnotic suggestion to feel a flash of disgust whenever they read an arbitrary word. They were then asked to rate moral transgressions described in vignettes that either did or did not include the disgust-inducing word. Two studies show that moral judgments can be made more severe by the presence of...
Article
crossing the border into the moral domain changes moral thinking in two ways: (1) the facts at hand become “anthropocentric” facts not easily open to revision, and (2) moral reasoning is often the servant of moral intuitions, making it difficult for people to challenge their own intuitions. sunstein's argument is sound, but policy makers are likely...