In Defense of Troublemakers

No items found.

by Charlan Nemeth

An eminent psychologist explains why dissent should be cherished, not feared.

We've decided by consensus that consensus is good. In In Defense of Troublemakers, psychologist Charlan Nemeth argues that this principle is completely wrong: left unchallenged, the majority opinion is often biased, unoriginal, or false. It leads planes and markets to crash, causes juries to convict innocent people, and can quite literally make people think blue is green. In the name of comity, we embrace stupidity. We can make better decisions by embracing dissent. Dissent forces us to question the status quo, consider more information, and engage in creative decision-making.

From Twelve Angry Men to Edward Snowden, lone objectors who make people question their assumptions bring groups far closer to truth--regardless of whether they are right or wrong. Essential reading for anyone who works in groups, In Defense of Troublemakers will radically change the way you think, listen, and make decisions.

My thoughts on In Defense of Troublemakers

Similar recommendations

Good decision-making, at its heart, is divergent thinking. When we think divergently, we think in multiple directions, seek information and consider facts on all sides of the issue, and think about the cons as well as the pros. Bad decision-making is the reverse. Thinking convergently, we focus more narrowly, usually in one direction. We seek information and consider facts that support an initial preference. We tend not to consider the cons of the position, nor do we look at alternative ways of interpreting the facts.

— Charlan Nemeth, In Defense of Troublemakers