Social Psychology in an Age of Social Fragmentation
The Great Simplification #59 with Jonathan Haidt
As I’ve researched the topics that comprise our global challenge, it’s become apparent to me that human behavior is central to how all the issues inter-relate. One of the best thinkers on how our social psychology illuminates the hazards of clashing worldviews between well-intentioned people is Jonathan Haidt. Professor Haidt is a leading scholar in the research of human biases and predispositions, and how they affect cooperation, communication, and change-making. Is it possible to use a better understanding of our own psychology to change our behavior and the behavior of future generations?
Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultural and political divisions. Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis (2006) and of The New York Times bestsellers The Righteous Mind (2012) and The Coddling of the American Mind (2018, with Greg Lukianoff). In 2019 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Since 2018 he has been studying the contributions of social media to the decline of teen mental health and the rise of political dysfunction. He is currently writing two books: Kids In Space: Why teen mental health is collapsing, and Life After Babel: Adapting to a world we can no longer share.
Human psychology and behavior is at the root of the larger predicament that humanity faces. Is social media hijacking the vulnerabilities of our social-psychological nature? How can we redesign technologies and systems to bring out the better sides of our natures, instead of amplifying the worst? Where does social media go from here?
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