The Situationist

Will Wilkinson Interviews Jonathan Haidt

Posted by The Situationist Staff on July 20, 2008

Below is a ten-minute BloggingHeads clip from a one-hour interview of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

To watch the entire video, click here. For a sample of related Situationist posts, see “The Motivated Situation of Morality,” Jonathan Haidt on the Situation of Moral Reasoning,” and “Moral Psychology Primer.”

2 Responses to “Will Wilkinson Interviews Jonathan Haidt”

  1. pelagica said

    This is a facinating topic! The fairness and reciprocity category makes me wonder if we’re talking about helping others (who helped us in the past) who need it, or if it means I give you a gift, you give me a gift. I learned much of my new found morality from my Native American friends, who beleive that it is an insult to turn down a gift. It seems like instantly reciprocating would be disingenuous. I realized that simply helping others when they need it, and buying gifts my “group” would really like when I find those things, is better.

    I object to the idea that liberals have no mindset for in group morality. It simply takes a different form. Obviously most liberals are not forming groups of all white guys blocking out African Americans – instead it takes the form of community groups. My friends who form land trusts and even people who work with stray animals form huge networks. Those who own medical supply stores give away free medicine to feral cat rescuers. Neighbors watch out for land owners who abuse conservation areas. I could give many more examples!

    I’m a liberal voter, but I’m otherwise very socially conservative. Most of the liberals in my circle won’t tolerate swearing, poorly behaved children, etc. And I live in Massachusetts! I hope we can continue to study and revisit this subject. ;)

  2. pelagica said

    By the way I am not questioning the legitimacy of Haidt’s research, I just think that saying something like “Liberals are like this…..” is much less specific than saying “Our study found that 85 percent of liberals scored only a 3 on the Respect for Authority” scale. That way it can be left to interpretation by those reading. ;)

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