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The Coddling of the American Mind: An Evening with Jonathan Haidt

  • Ent Center for the Arts 5225 North Nevada Avenue Colorado Springs, CO, 80918 United States (map)

How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.

Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies


Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. How did this happen?

Eminent social psychologist Jonathan Haidt thinks the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education--ideas that are making it harder and harder for students to become autonomous adults who are able to navigate the bumpy road of life.

In this riveting lecture drawing from his New York Times bestselling book, Haidt will investigate the many social trends that have intersected to promote the spread of these untruths; things like:

  • The rise of fearful parenting

  • The decline of unsupervised, child-directed play

  • The new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade

  • The corporatization of universities

  • The emergence of new ideas about identity and justice

This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.


Jonathan Haidt (pronounced “height”) is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, and taught for 16 years in the department of psychology at the University of Virginia

Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures––including the cultures of progressive, conservatives, and libertarians. His goal is to help people understand each other, live and work near each other, and even learn from each other despite their moral differences. Haidt has co-founded a variety of organizations and collaborations that apply moral and social psychology toward that end, including,, and

Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, and of The New York Times bestsellers The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, and The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (co-authored with Greg Lukianoff). In 2019 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was chosen by Prospect magazine as one of the world's "Top 50 Thinkers." He has given four TED talks.


About the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual

Far from the gridlock of the coasts and the failures of Washington, D.C., the place to invest in your future is vibrant Colorado—with the stunning Rocky Mountains as a setting for a culture of leadership and open inquiry

In this setting, the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual (CSGI) will give you a world-class education in the American constitutional tradition, and a launchpad for a lifetime of service--whether it be in Colorado, on Capitol Hill, or in your hometown.