Haidt, Jonathan 1963–

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Haidt, Jonathan 1963–

PERSONAL: Born October 19, 1963, in Scarsdale, NY; married Jayne Riew. Education: Yale University, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1985; University of Pennsylvania, M.A., 1988, Ph.D., 1992.

ADDRESSES: Home—Charlottesville, VA. Office—Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, 102 Gilmer Hall, P.O. Box 400400, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, postdoctoral fellow, 1992–94; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Program on Mental Health and Human Development, Washington, DC, postdoctoral associate, 1994–95; University of Virginia, Department of Psychology, Charlottesville, VA, assistant professor, 1995–2001, associate professor, 2001–.

Also served variously as the president of the Connecticut Committee for Handgun Control, as a systems analyst for the U.S. Department of Labor, and holds the patent on a music player carrier, which he licensed to the Sony Corporation; Positive Psychology Summer Institute, director, 2002–; Revista Psicologia: Reflexao & Critica, associate editor, 1994–98; Indian Psychological Abstracts, associate editor, 1997–2000.

MEMBER: American Psychological Association (Division 8: Personality and Social Psychology), American Psychological Society, International Society for Research on Emotion, Society for Experimental Social Psychology, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Student Voices project, Annenberg School of Communications, advisory board member.

AWARDS, HONORS: National Science Foundation, Graduate Fellowship, 1988–91; Dissertation Research Award, American Psychological Association, 1991; Dissertation Fellowship, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, 1991–92; Indo-American Fellowship, Fulbright Program and Council for International Exchange of Scholars, 1993–94; Outstanding Professor Award, University of Virginia Department of Psychology, 1988 and 2003; Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology, grand prize, 2001; All-University Teaching Award, University of Virginia, 2003; State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, Outstanding Faculty Award, 2004.


(Editor, with Cory L.M. Keyes) Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived, American Psychological Association (Washington, DC), 2003.

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Basic Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Regular contributor to scholarly journals, anthologies, and other publications, including Psychological Review, Daedalus, Cognition and Emotion, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, European Journal of Social Psychology, Psychological Inquiry, Trends in Cognitive Science, and the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

SIDELIGHTS: Jonathan Haidt is an associate professor of psychology. His area of study includes research in morality and emotion, and how they differ from culture to culture. He is interested in the ways in which beauty, virtue, and excellence affect morality; moral intuition, particularly as it pertains to political morality; and the links between morality and the body. Haidt studies how these areas of morality are reflected in our social structure through, among other things, public debates regarding same-sex marriage, euthanasia, abortion, sexual practices, and treatment of political symbols. He believes that, rather than debating issues prior to coming to a conclusion, it is the nature of humankind to come to a moral judgment first and then attempt to convince others to agree with it. In an interview with Believer, Haidt stated: "I think whatever is true of aesthetic judgment is true of moral judgment, except that in our moral lives we do need to justify, whereas we don't generally ask others for justifications of aesthetic judgments." In his book The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Haidt looks at the traditional advice offered by various religions on how to achieve a balanced, happy life, then compares it to more modern advice developed by psychologists after studying human nature and how it responds to different behavior. Much of the advice overlaps, showing that ancient wisdom might prove just as sound as more up-to-date, research-based information. June Sawyers, in a review for Booklist, called Haidt's findings "fascinating stuff, accessibly expressed," and E. James Lieberman, writing for Library Journal, dubbed the book "a fresh, serious, elevating guide to living everyday life better."



Booklist, January 1, 2006, June Sawyers, review of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, p. 25.

Detroit Free Press, January 11, 2006, Marta Salij, "2 Authors Pursue the State of Bliss We All Expect to Achieve."

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, August, 2005, Nathan Fair-man and Penelope Knapp, review of Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived, p. 834.

Library Journal, January 1, 2006, E. James Lieberman, review of The Happiness Hypothesis, p. 138.

O, The Oprah Magazine, January, 2006, Pam Houston, "First, Know Your Elephant … and Other Keys to Happiness," p. 88.

Publishers Weekly, November 7, 2005, review of The Happiness Hypothesis, p. 64.


Believer, http://www.believermag.com/ (April 18, 2006), interview with Jonathan Haidt.

Jonathan Haidt Professional Profile, http://haidt.socialpsychology.org (April 18, 2006).