Collective Illusions: Conformity, Complicity, and the Science of Why We Make Bad Decisions (Paperback)
Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and social psychology research, an acclaimed author demonstrates how so much of our thinking is informed by false assumptions—making us dangerously mistrustful as a society and needlessly unhappy as individuals.
The desire to fit in is one of the most powerful, least understood forces in society.
Todd Rose believes that as human beings, we continually act against our own best interests because our brains misunderstand what others believe. A complicated set of illusions driven by conformity bias distorts how we see the world around us. From toilet paper shortages to kidneys that get thrown away rather than used for transplants; from racial segregation to the perceived “electability” of women in politics; from bottled water to “cancel culture,” we routinely copy others, lie about what we believe, cling to tribes, and silence people.
The question is, Why do we keep believing the lies and hurting ourselves?
Todd Rose proves that the answer is hard-wired in our DNA: our brains are more socially dependent than we realize or dare to accept. Most of us would rather be fully in sync with the social norms of our respective groups than be true to who we are. Using originally researched data, Collective Illusions shows us where we get things wrong and, just as important, how we can be authentic in forming opinions while valuing truth. Rose offers a counterintuitive yet empowering explanation for how we can bridge our inference gap, make decisions with a newfound clarity, and achieve fulfillment.
**Wall Street Journal Bestseller**
**Named Amazon's 2022 Best Book of the Year in Business, Leadership, and Science**
About the Author
Todd Rose is the cofounder of Populace, a think tank dedicated to building a world where all people have the chance to live fulfilling lives in a thriving society. Prior to Populace, Dr. Rose was a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he founded the Laboratory for the Science of Individuality and directed the Mind, Brain, and Education program. He lives in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Wall Street Journal Bestseller
Publishers Weekly Bestseller
“An illuminating analysis of why groups believe things their members don’t—and how we can fight groupthink. Move over, truthiness: Todd Rose is here with science and stories to help us rethink our questionable assumptions and abandon our inaccurate beliefs.”
—Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast WorkLife
“Rose explores the ways in which our tendency to mistake self-assurance for expertise, to base choices on what we think other people will choose, and to confuse a vocal fringe element for an actual majority cause us to make bad decisions. An eye-opening, thought-provoking book that encourages us to take a good, hard look at ourselves.”—Booklist
Praise for Todd Rose:
“Todd Rose has achieved a rare feat: he is both provocative and right. He overturns our fundamental assumptions about talent, and offers an empowering way to rethink the world.”—Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals
“An eye-opening, thought-provoking book that encourages us to take a good, hard look at ourselves.”
"Consistently mind-blowing!”—Dan Heath, co-author of the New York Times bestsellers Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive
“Our one-dimensional understanding of achievement—our search for the average score, average grade, average talent—has seriously underestimated human potential. This book is readable, enlightening, and way above average.”—Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of To Sell Is Human and Drive
“Todd Rose’s thought-provoking book challenges the explanatory power of the everyday term ‘average,’ opening our minds to new ways of conceptualizing human variation and human potentials.”—Howard Gardner, author of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed
"Readers will be moved to examine their own averagerian prejudices, most so ingrained as to be almost invisible, all worthy of review."—New York Times
“Shatters our conventional notion of what success is and how to attain it.”—Amy Cuddy, New York Times bestselling author of Presence