“When all think alike, then no one is thinking.”
In the 1950s, Solomon Asch conducted a series of psychology experiments to investigate the degree to which a person’s opinion was influenced by the opinion of a majority. Two thirds of participants in the experiments picked a clearly wrong response to a question because the rest of the group picked that response. The results indicated that many people will conform due to two main reasons: the desire to fit in (normative influence) and the belief that the group knows best (informational influence). In other words, the participants who conformed ended up disregarding or doubting their thinking and consequently, they failed to express a difference in opinion. Such behavior could certainly be detrimental and while reaching a consensus when working in teams is valuable, it should not come at the expense of diverse thinking, which is what often drives innovation.