Social proof, preference falsification, pluralistic ignorance, and information cascade

What people believe about their and others’ beliefs, as well as how those beliefs are expressed, can dramatically affect decisions: groups can come to decisions with which the majority disagrees! In short, uncertainty, timidity, or ignorance can lead to an unrepresentative decision.

social proof
(uncertain) group members follow others assuming the majority knows better
preference falsification
(timid) group members suppress their opinion as they perceive it as contrary to majority opinion
pluralistic ignorance
(ignorant) group members incorrectly believe their opinions are in the minority and consequently follow the perceived majority
information cascade
early and public expressions of opinion can influence subsequent expressions, overwhelming genuine difference or even the majority sentiment

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