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The Coddling of the American Mind PDF-A timely investigation into the new “safety culture” on campus and the dangers it poses to free speech, mental health, education, and ultimately democracy
The generation now coming of age has been taught three Great Untruths: their feelings are always right; they should avoid pain and discomfort; and they should look for faults in others and not themselves. These three Great Untruths are part of a larger philosophy that sees young people as fragile creatures who must be protected and supervised by adults. But despite the good intentions of the adults who impart them, the Great Untruths are harming kids by teaching them the opposite of ancient wisdom and the opposite of modern psychological findings on grit, growth, and antifragility.-The Coddling of the American Mind PDF
The result is rising rates of depression and anxiety, along with endless stories of college campuses torn apart by moralistic divisions and mutual recriminations.
This is a book about how we got here. First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt take us on a tour of the social trends stretching back to the 1980s that have produced the confusion and conflict on campus today, including the loss of unsupervised play time and the birth of social media, all during a time of rising political polarization.
This is a book about how to fix the mess. The culture of “safety” and its intolerance of opposing viewpoints has left many young people anxious and unprepared for adult life, with devastating consequences for them, for their parents, for the companies that will soon hire them, and for a democracy that is already pushed to the brink of violence over its growing political divisions. Lukianoff and Haidt offer a comprehensive set of reforms that will strengthen young people and institutions, allowing us all to reap the benefits of diversity, including viewpoint diversity.
This is a book for anyone who is confused by what’s happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live and work and cooperate across party lines.-The Coddling of the American Mind PDF
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Jonathan David Haidt (/haɪt/; born October 19, 1963) is an American social psychologist, Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University Stern School of Business, and author. His main areas of study are the psychology of morality and moral emotions.
Haidt’s main scientific contributions come from the psychological field of moral foundations theory, which attempts to explain the evolutionary origins of human moral reasoning on the basis of innate, gut feelings rather than logical reason. The theory was later extended to explain the different moral reasoning and how they relate to political ideology, with different political orientations prioritizing different sets of morals. The research served as a foundation for future books on various topics.
Haidt has written three books for general audiences: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006) explores the relationship between ancient philosophies and modern science; The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012) examines how morality is shaped by emotion and intuition more than by reasoning, and why differing political groups have different notions of right and wrong; and The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (2018), co-written with Greg Lukianoff, explores the rising political polarization and changing culture on college campuses, and its effects on mental health.
Haidt has attracted both support and criticism for his critique of the current state of universities and his interpretation of progressive values. He has been named one of the “top global thinkers” by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the “top world thinkers” by Prospect magazine. He is among the most cited researchers in political and moral psychology, and is considered among the top 25 most influential living psychologists.
Haidt is Jewish and was born in New York City, and raised in Scarsdale, New York. His grandparents were immigrants from Russia and Poland.
Education and career
Haidt received a BA in philosophy from Yale University in 1985, and a PhD in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He then studied cultural psychology at the University of Chicago as a postdoctoral fellow, supervised by Jonathan Baron and Alan Fiske (at the University of Pennsylvania), and cultural anthropologist Richard Shweder (University of Chicago). At Shweder’s suggestion, he visited Orissa, India, to continue his research. In 1995, Haidt was hired as an assistant professor at the University of Virginia, where he worked until 2011, winning four awards for teaching, including a statewide award conferred by the Governor of Virginia.
In 1999, Haidt became active in the new field of positive psychology, studying positive moral emotions. This work led to the publication of an edited volume, titled Flourishing, in 2003. In 2004, Haidt began to apply moral psychology to the study of politics, doing research on the psychological foundations of ideology. This work led to the publication in 2012 of The Righteous Mind. Haidt spent the 2007–2008 academic year at Princeton University as the Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching.
In 2011, Haidt moved to New York University Stern School of Business as the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership. In 2013, he co-founded Ethical Systems, a non-profit collaboration dedicated to making academic research on ethics widely available to businesses. In 2015, Haidt co-founded Heterodox Academy, a non-profit organization that works to increase viewpoint diversity, mutual understanding, and productive disagreement.[self-published source] In 2018, Haidt and Richard Reeves co-edited an illustrated edition of John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, titled All Minus One: John Stuart Mill’s Ideas on Free Speech Illustrated (illustrated by Dave Cicirelli). Haidt’s current research applies moral psychology to business ethics.
Dimensions and Characteristics of The Coddling of the American Mind PDF
Listening Length 10 hours and 6 minutes Author Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff Narrator Jonathan Haidt Whispersync for Voice Ready Audible.com Release Date September 04, 2018 Publisher Penguin Audio Program Type Audiobook Version Unabridged Language English Identification Number B079P7PDWB
- Book Name :The Coddling of the American Mind PDF
George P. Wood ““This is a book about wisdom and its opposite,” write Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt in The Coddling of the American Mind. “It is a book about three psychological principles and about what happens to young people when parents and educators—acting with the best of intentions—implement policies that are inconsistent with those principles.” In my opinion, it is also a book every American concerned with the future of our nation’s public discourse and democratic culture should read.
And yes, I am serious about that.
The Coddling of the American Mind grew out of the increased support among college students for censorship of controversial opinions, a trend that Lukianoff began to notice in the fall of 2013. Lukianoff is president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a leading advocate for free speech on college and university campuses. In his experience, until that time, the leading advocates for censorship had been college administrators. What was driving the rapid rise of support for censorship among students?
For much of his life, Lukianoff had suffered clinical depression, even contemplating suicide in late 2007. In 2008, he underwent cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy that identifies distorted patterns of thinking that often underlie depression and anxiety, and this helped him tremendously. As Lukianoff interacted with students, he noticed that the way they reasoned about controversial issues often mirrored the same cognitive distortions CBT teaches people to control.
This insight led to a conversation with Haidt, a social psychologist, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. That conversation led to a feature story in the September 2015 issue of The Atlantic. The book builds out the article’s core thesis.
Lukianoff and Haidt unfold their argument in three parts: Part I, “Three Bad Ideas,” looks at “three Great Untruths”:
1. The Untruth of Fragility: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Weaker
2. The Untruth of Emotional Reasoning: Always Trust Your Feelings
3. The Untruth of Us Versus Them: Life Is a Battled Between Good People and Evil People
Taken together, these untruths result in “a culture of safetyism” on campus, whereby students must be protected from opposing opinions that might “harm” their “safety,” no longer defined as physical safety but now as emotional safety too.
The results of this culture of safetyism, ironically enough, are intimidation and violence on the one hand and witch hunts on the other, as the Lukianoff and Haidt argue in Part II, “Bad Ideas in Action.”
They cite the February 1, 2017, anti-Milo Yiannopoulos riot at the University of California at Berkeley as an example of the former, though there are many such examples scattered throughout the book. But the threats of violence are not merely coming from leftwing Antifa activists on campus. The authors point to alt-right off-campus provocation as well, specifically the neo-Nazi march through the University of Virginia’s campus on August 11, 2017. The confrontation between protesters and counterprotesters the next day resulted in the vehicular murder of Heather Heyer by an alt-right driver.
Lukianoff and Haidt cite several examples of academic witch hunts conducted against professors who utter heterodox ideas, even if they are liberal or leftwing. Prof. Bret Weinstein’s protest of the “Day of Absence” at Evergreen State College in Washington is a leading example of this. The school is quite liberal, as is Weinstein. On its annual Day of Absence, minority faculty students had since the 1970s gone off campus to make their absence, and hence contributions, palpable. But in 2017, organizers of the event asked white faculty and students not to show up. Weinstein thought this went too far and was subjected to vicious protests for saying so.
As these events illustrate, college and university campuses, which are supposed to be beacons of free speech, have instead in many cases become their opposite. There is no one-size-fits-all explanation for why this has happened, but in Part III, “How Did We Get Here?,” Lukianoff and Haidt identify “six interacting explanatory threads”:
rising political polarization and cross-part animosity; rising levels of teen anxiety and depression; changes in parenting practices; the decline of free play; the growth of campus bureaucracy; and a rising passion for justice in response to major national events, combined with changing ideas about what justice requires.
This may be the most interesting part of the book, rich in social scientific detail and fair-minded in its analysis. As the parent of three elementary-age children, the chapters on “Paranoid Parenting” and “The Decline of Free Play” were thought-provoking and helpful.
Part IV, “Wising Up,” builds on the analysis of the previous chapters and suggests a way forward for making “Wiser Kids,” “Wiser Universities,” and “Wiser Societies,” as the titles of the three chapters indicate. A table on page 263 summarizes the argument of the entire book, so I’ll reproduce it here:
PSYCHOLOGICAL PRINCIPLE // WISDOM // GREAT UNTRUTH
1. Young people are antifragile. // Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child. // What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.
2. We are all prone to emotional reasoning and the confirmation bias. // Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded. But once mastered, no one can help you as much, not even your father or your mother. // Always trust your feelings.
3. We are all prone to dichotomous thinking and tribalism. // The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. // Life is battle between good people and evil people.
As I mentioned at the outset of this review, I am serious when I say that every American concerned with the future of our nation’s public discourse and democratic culture should read The Coddling of the American Mind. It stimulated my thinking as a parent and helped form a better opinion of contemporary events as a concerned citizen. As a person, it provided an accessible introduction to cognitive behavioral therapy, identifying the cognitive distortions that misshape our opinions and hence misguide our actions. And as a politically conservative Christian, it reminded me that there are non-religious liberals (e.g., Lukianoff) and centrists (e.g., Haidt) who are intelligent and public-minded and have things to say I need to hear.
So, buy this book. Read it. Then share it.”
AJ “Only brought it for my high school senior’s project. Can’t wait to donate it to the Koch Foundation. Or burn it.
The penultimate chapter is “Quest for Justice” which says “If you just look at things our way, we don’t have any problems”. Therefore, no need for government to provide solutions. It starts off with a gem of insight (without any rationale) that young adults in college or early career only care about social justice not economics and politics. But, since the 1980s, the number of good paying jobs started to decrease while economic inequality increased. This group of young people has only known a world where their parents get laid off and their economic prospects are dim. It’s the economy, stupid.
The last section of this chapter is “Correlation Does Not Imply Causation”. Note the lack of data driven analysis and absence of any data graph. It is all anecdotal. My favorite is UVA Men’s Rowing Association, self-funded, versus Women’s Rowing Team, university funded. The culprit is Title IX which the Carter administration interpreted to provide equal opportunity to college resources. The authors conveniently ignore the fact that football is by far the most expensive college sport. Instead of analyzing how this disadvantages men crew, they are apoplectic that women are getting a free ride in crew. To give their opus a veneer of logic, they used terms: ‘input’, ie, interest in crew, versus ‘outcome’, ie, women’s crew being fully funded. The former is qualitative and the latter is quantitative. No matter, they got the right outcome in their analysis.
Bad input – cost of book. Good outcome – teach my child how not to think and how to spot charlatans.”
1. what doesn’t kill us makes us weaker (humans are fragile and need more than protection, they need safe spaces and safety nets for increasingly less dangerous events in the external world)
2. always trust your feelings (feeling hurt constitutes sufficient evidence that any person or system is wrong/harmful/bad/evil)
3. life is a battle of good and evil people (the world is a perpetual battle of your group versus the other group)We now live in a world where adults file accusations of harm immediately, especially with social media, before initially doing an internal check. Just because we feel offended does not automatically mean the other person is an aggressor/bad person. And being on a hypervigiliant search for harm ensures you will find it, even from decent folks that would be best served by an assumption of benevolence until proven otherwise.
This book comes at a great time. A lot of societal problems have improved in just the past 100 years (see It’s Better Than It Looks by Gregg Easterbrook and Better Angles of Our Nature by Steven Pinker). Yet, explicit sexism, racism, homophobia and their related ilk still remain. Unfortunately, some of the solutions to reduce social problems has produced some undesirable side effects. This book details these problems of progress. With scientific research, sociological analysis, and interesting anecdotes, the authors do a deep dive into the culture of emotional safeguarding – where protecting people from feeling uncomfortable has taken precedence over training people to be critical thinkers.
Essentially, many of the principles for protecting people from dissenting viewpoints runs counter to thousands of years of theory and practice, from stoic philosophy to cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Looking forward to the debates that will arise from this book. It’s an easy read – two settings and you’ll be finished. I hope every administrator, teacher, parent, and students read this. Regardless of how much you agree with the authors, its time to have a serious conversation of whether the social progress pendulum has swung too far in the other direction and if so, what can be done.”
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