Discussions of the Book
DISCUSSIONS OF AMERICAN POLITICS DRAWING ON THE RIGHTEOUS MIND
Reason: Progressives won the social culture war; Can libertarians and conservatives win the economic culture war? By Ron Bailey
The American Conservative, Asteroids and other problems, by Rod Dreher, 1/9/13.
TED blog: Defusing political conflicts. 1/7/13
Alternet: Have you ever wondered what compels your conservative relatives to vote the way they do? By Ryan Howes. (1/3/13)
Baltimore sun: “Why there won’t be real gun reform in the wake of Sandy Hook.” By Susan Reimer (12/17/12). Makes the challenging analogy between those who hold reproductive rights sacred and those who hold gun rights sacred.
The Washington Times: “All about libertarians,” by Emily Esfahani Smith (10/16/12).
New York Times, “The Mind of a Flip-Flopper,” by Maggie Koerth-Baker, 8/15/12. “People change their minds all the time, even about very important matters. It’s just hard to do when the stakes are high. That’s why marshaling data and making rational arguments won’t work. Whether you’re changing your own mind or someone else’s, the key is emotional, persuasive storytelling.”
Pacific Standard, “Red States, Blue States, Gray Matter,” by Tom Jacobs (8/10/12). Discussion of a new article by G. Lewis et al. in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience that found differences in brain structure corresponding to several of the moral foundations.
CatholicCulture.org, “One-Eyed Liberals,” by Jeff Mirus (6/12/12). “We may grant, I suppose, that there are none so sure of themselves as the morally insensitive, and none so morally insensitive as those who take their superior position for granted.”
The American, “The Tribal Mind: Moral Reasoning and Public Discourse, by Arnold Kling (4/26/12). Kling understands the book perfectly, and offers creative ideas for how to work with our tribal minds to reduce the blindness and bad policy caused by our hyper-partisan politics. He discusses 1)Taking opposing points of view at face value, 2) Policing your own side, and 3) Scrambling the teams.
Commentary. “Challenging Sacred Assumptions,” by Peter Wehner (4/18/12). Wehner takes to heart my comments about the confirmation bias, and the need for other people who challenge our reasoning: “In the White House in particular, where you have access to more information than is available to most people and are surrounded by some of the leading experts in the country, it’s tempting to think that you and your colleagues are all-wise and your critics are all-foolish. And before long you can find yourself in an intellectual cul-de-sac. That’s a dangerous place to be. We need at least a few people in our orbit who have standing in our lives and who are willing to challenge what we claim and how we claim it. That is, I think, an important, even essential, element when striving for intellectual honesty.”
Both Sides Radio, on Huffington Post: “Do beliefs precede facts?” Mark Green, Ariana Huffington and Kellyanne Conway devote an episode to applying The Righteous Mind to major controversies of the day, including the Trayvon Martin killing and gender politics. They all agree with the book’s claims, and then apply them in interesting ways.
The Atlantic, “Science Asks: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” by Katherine Mangu-Ward
DISCUSSIONS OF BRITISH POLITICS DRAWING ON THE RIGHTEOUS MIND
PoliticsIsMoralPsychology.com, a blog examining British and Scottish politics from the perspective of The Righteous Mind
The Guardian, “So you think reason guides your politics? Think again,” by Simon Jenkins (5/17/12)
New Statesman, “Labour needs to rediscover its conservatism,” by Rowenna Davis (4/20/12)
Shifting Grounds, “Can conservatives and the Left be partners?” (4/16/12)
DISCUSSIONS OF RELIGION DRAWING ON THE RIGHTEOUS MIND… CLICK HERE
DISCUSSIONS OF PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Discussion in the New York Times philosophy blog — The Stone — about my claims about reason. Michael Lynch and Gary Gutting offer constructive critiques. I reply here: Reasons matter (when intuitions don’t object).
Darwinian Conservatism, a blog by Larry Arnhart, argues that I’m not really a centrist, I’m more of a Darwinian conservative, a ” fusion of classical liberalism (promoting the political liberty that secures the free exercise of hivishness) and traditional conservatism (promoting the social virtue that is cultivated in hives).”
Discussion in the New York Times philosophy blog — The Stone — about “Cannibals, Kings and Culture: The problem of Ethnocentrism,” addressing questions of moral truth and relativism.
DISCUSSIONS OF SOCIOLOGY
“In effect, Haidt is trying to place a lot of the action in morality out of his area of expertise and into ours – into the socialworld. There is nothing of intellectual imperialism here, no eagerness to do away with all other ideas by imposing his own. In my experience, this sort of generosity and openness is extremely rare.”
–Stephen Vaisey, review in The European Journal of Sociology
DISCUSSIONS OF GAY RIGHTS
Huffington Post, My Conversation with Jonathan Haidt. An article and podcast of my discussion with David Blankenhorn, a social conservative who had formerly opposed gay marriage, but changed his mind because what he most cares about is spreading the benefits of marriage as widely as possible. (6/8/13)
Huffington Post, Fighting a boogeyman, How gut reactions slowed the LGBT movement. by Phillip Miner.
DISCUSSIONS OF ENVIRONMENTALISM
Several studies have used Moral Foundations Theory and The Righteous Mind to enhance persuasion on political topics, particularly environmental issues:
–Feinberg & Willer (2012). The Moral Roots of Environmental Attitudes. Psychological Science. Shows that messages that speak to conservatives’ morals narrow partisan gap on environment. See essay summarizing the research here.
–Kidwell, Farmer, & Hardesty (2013), Getting Liberals and Conservatives to Go Green: Political Ideology and Congruent Appeals. Journal of Consumer Research. Shows that messages framed using the right moral foundations can appeal to conservatives or liberals, on recycling.
–Day, Fiske et al. (2014). Shifting Liberal and Conservative Attitudes Using Moral Foundations Theory. PSPB.
–Wolsko, Ariceaga, & Seiden (2016). Red, white, and blue enough to be green: Effects of moral framing on climate change attitudes and conservation behaviors. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. From the abstract: “While liberals did not generally differ across conditions, conservatives shifted substantially in the pro-environmental direction after exposure to a binding moral frame, in which protecting the natural environment was portrayed as a matter of obeying authority, defending the purity of nature, and demonstrating one’s patriotism to the United States.”
Here are additional essays and videos using moral psychology to understand environmental issues:
PBS Video, Why people don’t believe in climate science. Uses the Rider and Elephant metaphor. (12/14)
Philosophy Compass: Hindering Harm and Preserving Purity: How Can Moral Psychology Save the Planet? Rottman, Keleman & Young
New York Magazine: Psychologists are learning how to make conservatives take climate change seriously. By Jesse Singal.
On the great flouridation debate in Portland, OR, which scrambled the usual left-right divide, see Tim Nesbitt, at OregonLive.com
Mother Jones: How science can predict where you stand on Keystone XL, by Chris Mooney. Applies MFT to explain the differences between the radical environmentalists and the moderates, who favor tradeoffs. Radicals are higher on sanctity and fairness. Radicals sometimes make room for moderates to success — a positive flank effect.
In Search of Liberal Purity, a blog post I wrote on how some on the left use the sanctity/degradation foundation to support environmentalist positions.
Here’s a set of recent articles on climate change, rounded up by Kevin Lewis. See especially the first, on how conservative Protestants don’t doubt the science so much; its more that they don’t trust the scientists to make policy recommendations. (As the academy gets more liberal, conservatives trust professors less)
Climate Change Communication Heats Up, in APA Monitor, summarizes current research on how to communicate about climate change despite the psychological obstacles. Includes a discussion of the “Global Warming’s 6 Americas” and of The Psychology of Climate Change Communication, from the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions.