Now showing items tagged debate
The holiday season is here. While rest is undoubtedly and necessarily a priority for most of us this year, the holidays can be a stressful time for many. The bustle of Christmas gift shopping and the logistics of family trips and get-togethers can eat away immense energy. Then, once the gatherings have begun, await the universally dreaded conversations arising when someone unwittingly raises a political opinion that divides the family dinner table.
Everybody wants a diverse team. Recent years have seen diversity become a new priority for businesses, often above other values – and for good reason! While quotas are a matter of some controversy, the contemporary push for diversity leads to some great results.
Psychologist Irving Janis argues that the lack of diversity in a group insulates it from outside opinion and convinces members over time that the group’s judgment on important issues must be right. These kinds of groups, Janis suggests, share “an illusion of invulnerability and a willingness to rationalize away possible counter-arguments to the group’s position.”
The human instinct to avoid social humiliation is deep. Psychologists point to shame as being one of the deepest fears held nearly universally by human beings, coming close to the fear of death. We all have the impulse to save face, and many of us get particularly defensive, aggressive or withdrawn when that impulse is challenged.
This fear of losing our dignity plays out in important ways in our everyday conversations. It is this very fear that is often the cause of us advocating opinions long after we have abandoned them, for fear of embarrassing ourselves by acknowledging our prior ignorance.