Blame Your Bad Group Decisions on Peer Pressure – No Matter How Old You Are – (More Insight from Wiser)

WiserIt may be built into human nature to respect and like people more once they have told you something that you already know. (“If they tell me that, they must be smart, and nice too!”)
…if someone tells you something you already know, you will probably like not only that person, but also yourself, a bit better as a result. (“If they tell me that, I must be smart, and nice too!”)
by Cass R. Sunstein and Reid Hastie, Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter

Man is… goaded by the spirit of hierarchy.
Kenneth Burke, Definition of Man (Human)

Peer and boss acceptance and approval are powerful motivators for keeping silent, or speaking “with the group,” even if you “know” better…
(one of my takeaways from Wiser)


A short reminder. Peer pressure, peer acceptance, peer respect still matters, whether you are 15 years old or 51 years old.

If the cool people around you, and/or especially your boss, think something is important, you will think that that same thing is important.

Even if it shouldn’t be viewed as important.

If the cool people keep focusing on the “right” important things, then all is good. But, if they focus on the “wrong” things, it takes enormous effort to break from the cool people to sound the alarm. Because, to make such a break, you might lose your place in the “cool” group (your place in the hierarchy).

This is one reason why groups make bad decisions When the cool people all agree – on the wrong thing—chances are, they will pursue the wrong path. And, you, and others, will just go along…

Not good.


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