The Happiness Hypothesis
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About the Author

Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at the NYU-Stern School of Business. He received his B. A. from Yale University in 1985 and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He then did post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago and in Orissa, India. He was a professor at the University of Virginia from 1995 until 2011, when he joined the Stern School of Business. His research focuses on morality – its emotional foundations, cultural variations, and developmental course. He began his career studying the negative moral emotions, such as disgust, shame, and vengeance, but then moved on to the understudied positive moral emotions, such as admiration, awe, and moral elevation. This work got him involved with the field of positive psychology.

He is the co-developer of Moral Foundations theory, and of the research site He uses his research to help people understand and respect the moral motives of their enemies (see He won three teaching awards from the University of Virginia, and one from the governor of Virginia. His three TED talks have been viewed more than 3 million times. (Those talks are on political psychology, on religion, and on the causes of America’s political polarization.)  He was named a “top 100 global thinker” of 2012 by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the 65 “World Thinkers of 2013″ by Prospect. He is the author of more than 90 academic articles and two books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, and the New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. For more information see

Curriculum Vitae    Home Page at NYU   Recent Publicity

Giving a talk on happiness at the Aspen Ideas Festival 2011

To inquire about speaking engagements,
contact The Lavin Agency


Jon Haidt

Photo by Tom Cogill, back in 2005, when I was writing
The Happiness Hypothesis


Haidt photo on Moyers

Photo by Dale Robbins, 2012
(courtesy Bill Moyers Media)