Pluralistic Ignorance

In social psychology, pluralistic ignorance is a situation where a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but assume incorrectly that most others accept it, also described as 'no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes." Lack of public opposition then helps perpetuate a norm that may be, in fact, disliked by most people.

Pluralistic ignorance can be contrasted with the false consensus effect. In pluralistic ignorance, people privately disdain but publicly support a norm (or a belief), while the false consensus effect causes people to wrongly assume that most people think like them, while in reality most people do not think like them (and express the disagreement openly). For instance, pluralistic ignorance may lead a student to drink alcohol excessively because she believes that everyone else does that, while in reality everyone else also wishes they could avoid binge drinking, but no one expresses that due to the fear of being ostracized. A false consensus for the same situation would mean that the student believes that most other people do not enjoy excessive drinking, while in fact most other people do enjoy that and openly express their opinion about it.

The term pluralistic ignorance was coined by Daniel Katz and Floyd H. Allport in 1931. Krech and Crutchfield’s described it, in (1948, pp. 388–89), as the situation where 'no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes.'"

Read more about Pluralistic Ignorance:  Consequences of Pluralistic Ignorance

Other articles related to "pluralistic ignorance":

Consequences of Pluralistic Ignorance
... Pluralistic ignorance was blamed for a perception (among American whites) that grossly exaggerated the support of other American whites for segregation in the 1960s ... In a series of studies conducted to test the effect of pluralistic ignorance, Prentice and Miller studied the consequences of pluralistic ignorance at ... Research has shown that pluralistic ignorance plagues not only those who indulge, but also those who abstain from gambling, smoking, and drinking and among some who follow vegetarianism ...
Constructs of The Social Norms Approach
... This phenomenon is known as pluralistic ignorance ... A phenomenon known as false consensus is closely related to the idea of pluralistic ignorance, and refers to the incorrect belief that others are similar, when in reality they are ... to promote these ideas, describes false consensus and pluralistic ignorance as "mutually reinforcing and self-perpetuating…the majority is silent because it thinks it is a minority, and the minority is vocal ...
False-consensus Effect
... The false-consensus effect can be contrasted with pluralistic ignorance, an error in which people privately disapprove but publicly support what seems to be the majority view (regarding a norm or belief ... in fact, openly disagrees with them), the pluralistic ignorance effect leads people to wrongly believe that they disagree with the majority (when the majority, in fact, covertly agrees with them) ... Pluralistic ignorance might, for example, lead a student to engage in binge drinking because of the mistaken belief that most other students approve of it ...

Famous quotes containing the words ignorance and/or pluralistic:

    A cure by regression is homeopathic, like healing the damage done by ministers and ignorance with stupidity and Jesuits.
    Franz Grillparzer (1791–1872)

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    Toni Morrison (b. 1931)