Jordan Bernt Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are in abnormal, social, and personality psychology, with a particular interest in the psychology of religious and ideological belief, and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.
Peterson studied at the University of Alberta and McGill University. He remained at McGill as a post-doctoral fellow from 1991 to 1993 before moving to Harvard University, where he was an assistant and then associate professor in the psychology department. In 1998, he moved back to Canada, as a faculty member in the psychology department at the University of Toronto, where he is currently a full professor.
Peterson’s first book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, published in 1999, examined several academic fields to describe the structure of systems of beliefs and myths, their role in the regulation of emotion, creation of meaning, and several other topics such as motivation for genocide. His second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, was released in January 2018.
In 2016, Peterson released a series of YouTube videos criticizing political correctness and the Canadian government’s Bill C-16. The act added gender identity as a prohibited ground of discrimination, which Peterson characterised as an introduction of compelled speech into law. He subsequently received significant media coverage, attracting both support and criticism.