The material for Module 4 has been selected to contrast with the material discussed in Module 3 (the reading is from the same book.) The best way to really explore a topic is to view it from all sides (or at least several vantage points.)

The podcast referenced the Candid Camera elevator experiment, which is powerful to watch.


I enjoy picturing an orchestra randomly standing up in intervals. I wonder what the audience members were thinking…and wonder if any of them stood up?!

For discussion, let’s acknowledge that Surowiecki provides compelling evidence that conformity in groups is dangerous, leads to less effective decision making, and is also really common. What research also uncovers is that although it’s easy for groups to slip into conformity, it doesn’t take a lot to get groups to “snap out of it (conformity).” Diversity of thought, even from just one member, is enough to get everyone out of the comfort of conformity and back to thinking independently.

For your original post  please select one of these options:

  1. Provide us with an example of a time when you witnessed “diversity in thought” change the course of a group discussion. You could have been the catalyst or you may have watched someone else voice a divergent opinion that resulted in a richer discussion. Tell us about it!
  2. If you can’t think of an example, I’d like you to consider how you view “devil’s advocates” in groups. This is a challenging role to fill, but the material for this module highlights how important it is. Now, consider if you are comfortable and willing to fulfill this role in your future groups. I want to stress that “No, I would not feel comfortable…” is a reasonable and valid answer, but I’d like you to expand on it. In your comment, tell us a) how you feel about this role, b) if you’d be willing to occupy it in future groups (and why). If you responded no, please tell us why (perhaps it’s due to your cultural dimensions, identities you claim, or other demographic information.)
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