Haidt has a special gift in this book: he is on a very short list of people I know that can be open and honest in his assessment of data, including the application of his scientific findings to his worldview. Most scientists tend to seek confirmation of their worldview, and they tend to ignore ideas that don't match expectations. I applaud Haidt for having the intellectual honesty and personal integrity to follow the data where it leads him, rather than seeking to make a case to bolster his foregone conclusion. This is especially difficult in the social sciences, such that many (if not most) Americans would hesitate to apply the word "science" to these fields at all.
What's great about this book is that it seems to really have something for everyone, regardless of the perspective you hold entering. If you go into it with an open mind, you will learn something. That doesn't mean you need to agree with all of his conclusions; I certainly don't, and I think that there are a few places where I would come away with a different take on a given data set, or think to tweak the experiment to test an alternative hypothesis. This is all well within the course of regular scientific inquiry. But the data obtained are still fo great quality for what they can esteblish well within the framework they were conducted.
In terms of listening, it was a pleasure. He has a great pacing and delivery, and I found this book as compelling to listen to as any of my favorite fiction audiobooks. He keeps the listener engaged, and even had me laughing a few times.
I would recommend this book to anyone with even the vaguest sense of interest in politics or morality. Haidt does a great job of being upfront about his biases, presenting the material as best he can in unbiased fashion, and letting the rationale he creates speak for itself. And I might go so far as to say that a book like this would help an individual conservative and an individual liberal (as he defines these terms) better communicate with one another, provided both had read/listened to the book. This one provided incredible food for thought, and has played a great role in shaping my thinking about politics and morality since completing it.
The author explains his theory on what basic elements of the human mind motivate action.
He introduced a novel theory for human motivation.
Although there are many equally valid theories that address the reasons people act the way they do, the author's theory is certainly worth consideration.
The book is really fascinating and I owned a hard copy already. The fact that it was performed by the author, I found really satisfying and unassuming. I will listen again at least once because it's dense and I desire to know the material well enough to disseminate. The graphs in the hard copy are useful, but I found some of the key ones online for sharing purposes, and they aren't indispensable. Great book.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Haidt does an amazing job here of showing us how it is our intuition that often decides for us in regard to controversial (and even trivial) subjects, and then "uses" rationale as an ad hoc reasoning machine to justify the decision. Haidt also shows how this is not always a bad thing, that "gut instincts" can be truer and better than those come to entirely on rationale (if the latter were even possible, which, it seems, it isn't in most normal people.) Rationale can temper intuition, but if someone's mind is truly to be changed, it must be the intuition that is addressed first, not the rationale. If one can understand this, violent arguments can often be defused and the "opponent" can be understood as something other than "someone who is stupid" or who "refuses to accept MY logic." A must read!
Haidt is the more, if I may say, more "civil" (for the lack of a better phrase) kind of atheist who has done immense analysis on the reasons behind politics and religion. His nonpartisan style of analysis on both sides of the divide gives good perspectives as to why some people with (or without) certain beliefs behave in a certain way. It was an excellent book which I thought was very well structured and articulated. Haidt would make a good judge in my opinion - for his ability to hold opposing thoughts in one head
Stockbroker/BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics/AS in Health Science
An abridged version that removes his desire to explain ad nauseam why he is qualified to write this book. I would like to find a euphemism for blowhard, but this word just fits uncomfortably well.
Not a chance.
Sadly, this would not have made the book any better.
Cut out his overly detailed explanation of how he got from A to B to C. Most Audible listeners are not yearning for a scholarly dissertation in audio format. You are a PhD, write like it.
I'm glad I read this (listened) and I recommend it to anyone who's interested in the topic, even if I don't agree with some of the author's conclusions. My favorite part of the book, the author's insights about people's moral convictions (and the political candidates they're attracted to), was fascinating. It's changed the way I look at (or listen to) people on the other side of the moral/political spectrum. I actually *hear* them differently, and their convictions make more sense to me.
Interesting book, well written and well read by the author.
Im the excuse people use to do what they previously thought impossible.
yes, great insight to why people are not as far away as they think.
This books provides the best response I have ever read until now to a very deep question: why evolution generated intelligence and rational thought? To have a full time advertising agency that improves our odds to reproduce. Not to reach the truth. At least not in the social environment. This is the author response based on high amount of empirical evidence in the ever more influential field of Evolutionary Psychology. A must read (or heard) for those who want to enlarge their scientific worldview in areas not still fully understood.
This book is a failed attempt to satisfy everyone: liberals, libertarians, conservatives, even fascists!
The author purports to be a psychologist, however his arguments are mainly drawn from wishy-washy philosophy under the thin disguise of science. What starts with some (weak) scientific evidence, soon he turns to anecdotes and "lessons" learned from the authors personal experience, like his trip to India.
On the one hand, the author happily narrates how he worked as a machiavelian strategist in order to teach liberal politicians how to speak the language of conservatives in order to get more votes.
On the other hand, he puts forth a tasteless moral relativism by urging the reader to try to "understand" attitudes like sexism, racism, child smacking, etc, as equally viable forms of viewing the world.
The confused and pointless central narrative of the book is nothing but a mix of New Age religious propaganda, opportunistic and unrealistic political philosophy, and watered-down pseudo-science.