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

Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt

Top 10 Best Quotes

“It is crucial to teach incoming students to be thoughtful in their interactions with one another. A portion of what is derided as "political correctness" is just an effort to promote polite and respectful interactions by discouraging the use of terms that are reasonably taken to be demeaning. But if you teach students that intention doesn't matter, and you also encourage students to find more things offensive (leading them to experience more negative impacts), and you also tell them that whoever says or does the things they find offensive are "aggressors" who have committed acts of bigotry against them, then you are probably fostering feelings of victimization, anger, and hopelessness in your students. They will come to see the world - and even their university - as a hostile place where things never seem to get better.”

“Girls may be suffering more than boys [mental illnesses] because they are more adversely affected by social comparisons (especially based on digitally enhanced beauty), by signals that they are being left out, and by relational aggression, all of which became easier to enact and harder to escape when adolescents acquired smartphones and social media.”

“modified version of the Chicago Statement that can serve as a template for other schools...: The [INSTITUTION]'s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the [INSTITUTION] community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of the [INSTITUTION] community, not for the [INSTITUTION] as an institution, to make those judgements for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose.”

“What is driving this surge in mental illness and suicide?... the rapid spread of smartphones and social media into the lives of teenagers, beginning around 2007, is the main cause of the mental health crisis that began around 2011.”

“Vigorous physical free play-- outdoors, and with other kids--is a crucial kind of play, one that our evolved minds are "expecting." It also happens to be the kind of play that kids generally say they like the most. (There is also a good case to be made for the importance of imaginative or pretend play, which is found not only in less rambunctious kinds of indoor free play but often in rough-and-tumble outdoor free play as well.)”

“U.S. elite institutions draw substantial international enrollment, and seventeen of the top twenty-five universities in the world are in the United States.”

“Turning Point USA created a Professor Watchlist in order to expose and document faculty members who discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”

“The only point of having more," Deresiewicz explains in his book Excellent Sheep, "is having more than everybody else... Nobody needs eleven extracurriculars- what purpose does having them actually serve?-- unless the other guy has ten.”

“The loss of political diversity among professor, particularly in fields that deal with politicized content, can undermine the quality and rigor of scholarly research... when a field lacks political diversity, researchers tend to congregate around questions and research methods that generally confirm their shared narrative, while ignoring questions and methods that don't offer such support. The loss of political diversity among the faculty has negative consequences for students, too, in three ways. First, there's the problem that many college students have little or no exposure to professors from half of the political spectrum. Many students graduate with an inaccurate understanding of conservatives, politics, and much of the United States... Second, the loss of viewpoint diversity among the faculty means that what students learn about politically controversial topics will often be "left shifted" from the truth. [The third problem] is the risk that some academic communities- particularly those in the most progressive parts of the country- may attain such high levels of political homogeneity and solidarity that they undergo a phase change, taking on properties of a collective entity that are antithetical to the normal aims of a university... Politically homogenous communities are more susceptible to witch hunts”

“The generation born between 1995 and 2012, called iGen (or sometimes Gen Z), is very different from the Millennials, the generation that preceded it. According to Jean Twenge, an expert in the study of generational differences, one difference is that iGen is growing up more slowly. On average, eighteen-year-olds today have spent less time unsupervised and have hit fewer developmental milestones on the path to autonomy (such as getting a job or a driver's license), compared with eighteen-year-olds in previous generations.”

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Book Keywords:

offenses, victimization, mental-health, universities, problems, university, smartphones, lists, adolescents, comparisons, diversity, feelings, colleges, teenagers, teenage-girls, bigotry, check-it-out, generational-differences, america, us-is-best, website, elite, teaching, college, policy, template, example, kids, united-states, play, professors, political-correctness, girls-vs-boys, mental-health-crisis, institutions, generations, administrators, differences, social-media-mental-illness, social-media, microaggressions, aggression, types-of-play, crisis, students, milestones

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