Friday, May 1, 2009

The Intelligence of the Group

Imagine you were discussing an issue with someone.

The other person has a differing opinion and tried to convince you that you got your facts wrong. You were quite sure of what you knew but the person sounded very confident. You started to have some doubts that perhaps you haven;t actually got your facts right. Otherwise, why would the person speak so confidently and tell you directly that you were wrong. Two other guys started to chip in, agreeing with the guy on what they think were correct. The reconfirming makes their fact suddenly became even more convincing and them more confident of what they think they knew.

Would you feel compelled to agree with what everyone else think should rightly be?

Earlier this week, i found myself in such a situation. I don't feel comfortable disagreeing yet i wasn't convinced . Hence, i went to check on the facts with the relevant department immediately after. It turned out that i was right. And so i went to show this guy the factual details. The guy thanked me after seeing the facts and remarked, " oh i didn't knew about that. "

It makes me wonder.

a) There really do exist people who pretend to know everything when they don't.
b) There really do exist people who can act so confidently about things they don't know and aren't really sure about.
c) Group-thinking is not necessary superior to individual knowledge. The key is the quality of knowledge and logical reasoning. Not the number of people who seems to think so.
d) That in a group situation, the force is really there to make one change his opinion to conform with the group; if everyone else thinks so, why are you insisting?
e) People likes to jump onto the bandwagon. " They all think so, i think i think so too. "

Without being difficult, always keep a critical and independent mind. Sometimes, the group opinion may not be any smarter than your own.