'The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure'

Studies show that rates of anxiety, depression and suicide are increasing across college campuses nationwide, increasing tensions between professors and students. What caused these cultural changes?

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt will answer that question by discussing the three "Great Untruths" that have crept into American childhood and education in his lecture "The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure," at Luther College's 2018 Farwell Distinguished Lecture.

Haidt, named one of the top-100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine and top world thinker by Prospect magazine, will give his lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall on the Luther campus. The lecture, open to the public with no charge for admission, is co-sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement and Campus Programming.

Haidt is the author of four books, most recently "The Coddling of the American Mind." Working with First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff, Haidt explores the recent culture shifts on college campuses. Through their research, Lukianoff and Haidt have discovered three "Great Untruths" that are changing the way children are raised and educated: what doesn't kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. Haidt and Lukianoff contest that embracing these ideals affects young adults' social, emotional and intellectual development. During the lecture, Haidt will explore these trends and how they've led to a change in the culture on college campuses.

A New York Times best-selling author, Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, based in the business and society program, at the New York University Stern School of Business. He is regarded as being among the world's top experts in the psychology of morality and politics. Before joining the Stern faculty in 2011, Haidt spent 16 years at the University of Virginia. He co-developed Moral Foundations theory, which attempts to explain how innate, modular foundations can influence human moral reasoning. He also co-founded HeterodoxAcademy.org, an organization of more than 1,800 professors and students advocating for improved quality of research and education in universities "by increasing viewpoint diversity, mutual understanding and constructive disagreement."

In addition to "The Coddling of the American Mind," Haidt has had three other books published: "Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well Lived;" "The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom;" and "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion." He frequently writes for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Haidt earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Yale University and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.