There’s a reason you were hired and are part of your team. You bring your own unique insights to the table. But research shows us that even the best of us are susceptible to creativity-crushing group-think. OPEN Forum reveals a study in which a group of 12 people were ask to determine which of the lines on the right (bel0w) were the same length as the one on the left. The results are fascinating:


While the answer is obviously C, his studies showed that people who would otherwise be certain of their convictions could be “manipulated” into questioning their beliefs. This was not done through coercion, peer pressure or even incentives. Nine experiment participants were shown the above image and were asked to call out which line on the right was the same length as the one on the left. This was done 12 times. Only one of the nine participants was actually being tested. The other eight were “plants” and were told to purposefully call out incorrect answers.

Read more about the study at OPEN Forum, this month’s sponsor of Workbook.

  • april

    The thing is, you have to first be certain that you were indeed hired because of your ability to think independently and creatively and for your personal conviction, and not because someone was counting on you to be easily shaped to a mold they already have in mind. In that case, not being a “group-thinker” would work against you!

  • Rob

    Nice article. Reading through this carefully, you should be able to determine whether you think for yourself or you’re mostly persuaded by what others think and you just “go with it”. Your voice is important, use it.

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