The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.

— Jonathan Haidt

The most revealing Jonathan Haidt quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

Morality binds people into groups. It gives us tribalism, it gives us genocide, war, and politics. But it also gives us heroism, altruism, and sainthood.

33

The most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation - a force for construction and destruction.

26

Reciprocity is a deep instinct; it is the basic currency of social life.

24

Happiness doesn't come from getting what you want.

It doesn't come from within, either. Happiness comes from *between*--from finding the right relationship between yourself and others, between yourself and your work, and between yourself and something larger than yourself.

20

In accounts of men in battle, there is an incredible adrenaline rush from group-versus-group conflict. The fervor and passion of partisans is clearly rewarding; and if it's rewarding, it involves dopamine; and if it involves dopamine, then it is potentially addictive.

14

You can see the rider serving the elephant when people are morally dumbfounded.

They have strong gut feelings about what is right and wrong, and they struggle to construct post hoc justifications for those feelings. Even when the servant (reasoning) comes back empty-handed, the master (intuition) doesn't change his judgment.

10

The human mind is a story processor, not a logic processor.

10

Sacredness binds people together, and then blinds them to the arbitrariness of the practice.

10

Human rationality depends critically on sophisticated emotionality.

It is only because our emotional brain works so well that our reasoning can work at all.

10

Diversity is not a virtue. Diversity is a good only to the extent that it advances other virtues, justice or inclusiveness of others who have previously been excluded.

7

Morality binds and blinds. It binds us into teams … but thereby makes us go blind to objective reality.

5

Morality binds and blinds. It binds us into ideological teams that fight each other as though the fate of the world depended on our side winning each battle. It blinds us to the fact that each team is composed of good people who have something important to say.

5

About Jonathan Haidt

Quotes 112 sayings
Profession Psychologist
Birthday October 16

The very ritual practices that the New Atheists dismiss as costly, inefficient and irrational turn out to be a solution to one of the hardest problems humans face: cooperation without kinship

4

Liberals and conservatives are opponents in the most literal sense, each using the myth of pure evil to demonize the other side and unite there own.

4

What set us apart from most or all of the other hominid species was our ultrasociality, our ability to be highly cooperative, even with strangers, people who are not at all related to us.

4

If you are in passionate love and want to celebrate your passion, read poetry.

If your ardor has calmed and you want to understand your evolving relationship, read psychology. But if you have just ended a relationship and would like to believe you are better off without love, read philosophy.

4

There are a couple of watersheds in human evolution.

Most people are comfortable thinking about tool use and language use as watersheds. But the ability to play non-zero-sum games was another watershed.

4

The president is the high priest of what sociologist Robert Bellah calls the 'American civil religion.' The president must invoke the name of God (though not Jesus), glorify America's heroes and history,quote its sacred texts (the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution), and perform the transubstantiation of pluribus unum.

4

I think sociologists are among the best at thinking about emergence, of thinking about the ways that the society is more than the sum of the individuals. And I've found that much of the wisest writing on human social nature comes from sociology and anthropology, not from my own field of social psychology.

3

It's a basic fact about being human that sometimes the self seems to just melt away.

3

Sports is to war as pornography is to sex. We get to exercise some ancient, ancient drives.

3

Scandal is great entertainment because it allows people to feel contempt, a moral emotion that gives feeling of moral superiority while asking nothing in return.

3

[Politics is] about the eternal struggle between good and evil, and we all believe we're on the good team.

3

We can tolerate great diversity in our aesthetic beliefs, but we can't tolerate much diversity in our moral beliefs.

3

Many species reciprocate, but only humans gossip, and much of what we gossip about is the vale of other people as partners for reciprocal relationships.

3

Individuals who could not form cooperative alliances, on average, died sooner and left fewer children. And so we are the descendants of the successful cooperators.

3

If our goal is to understand the world, to seek a deeper understanding of the world, our general lack of moral diversity here is going to make it harder. Because when people all share values, when people all share morals, they become a team.

2

Legalizing homosexuality is not the first step on a slippery slope to legalizing everything.

2

In real life, however, you don't react to what someone did;

you react only to what you think she did, and the gap between action and perception is bridged by the art of impression management. If life itself is but what you deem it, then why not focus your efforts on persuading others to believe that you are a virtuous and trustworthy cooperator?

2

Dividing into teams doesn't necessarily mean denigrating others.

Studies of groupishness have generally found that groups increase in-group love far more than they increase out-group hostility.

2

Trying to run Congress without human relationships is like trying to run a car without motor oil. Should we be surprised when the whole thing freezes up?

2

If you grow up in a WEIRD society, you become so well educated in the ethic of autonomy that you can detect oppression and inequality even where the apparent victims see nothing wrong.

2

Congress is full of good, decent, smart people who have devoted their lives to public service.

1

Democrats talk about programs like Social Security or Medicare, but it's not clear to most voters what Democrats' core moral values are.

1

Liberals have difficulty understanding the Tea Party because they think it is a bunch of selfish racists. But I think the Tea Party is driven in large part by concerns about fairness.

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The consistent finding of psychological research is that we are fairly accurate in our perceptions of others. It's our self-perceptions that are distorted because we look at ourselves in a rose-colored mirror.

0

Liberals are my friends, my colleagues, my social world.

0

Happiness requires changing yourself and changing your world.

It requires pursuing your own goals and fitting in with others. Different people at different times in their lives will benefit from drawing more heavily on one approach or the other.

0

I got interested in the American culture war back in 2004, and it's one of the only growth stocks I've ever invested in.

0

The social intuitionist model offers an explanation of why moral and political arguments are so frustrating: because moral reasons are the tail wagged by the intuitive dog. A dog’s tail wags to communicate. You can’t make a dog happy by forcibly wagging its tail. And you can’t change people’s minds by utterly refuting their arguments.

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In college, I was dead set on being a philosophy major, because I wanted to figure out the meaning of life. Four years later I realized philosophy had really nothing to say about the meaning of life, and psychology and literature are really where it's at.

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I began graduate school in the late 1980s, and my goal was to understand how morality varied across cultures and nations. I did some research comparing moral judgment in India and the U.S.A.

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I think the greatest work in social psychology from the 1950s and '60s is enormously important. I wish every high school kid could take a course in social psychology. I think we're making enormous strides in understanding the brain. These aren't yet giving us great insights, but I feel like we're on the verge of it. In five or ten years this basically searching the brain is really going to change things.

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If I have a mission in life, it is to convince people that everyone is morally motivated - everyone except for psychopaths.

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If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out the truth, you’ll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with you.

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Once you understand the power of stimulus control, you can use it to your advantage by changing the stimuli in your environment and avoiding undesirable ones; or, if that's not possible, by filling your consciousness with thoughts about their less tempting aspects.

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Economic issues are just as much moral issues as social issues.

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Religious experiences are real and common, whether or not God exists, and these experiences often make people whole and at peace.

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The psychological origins of love are in attachment to parents and sexual partners. We do not attach to ourselves; we do not seek security and fulfillment in ourselves.

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