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Today we welcome Todd Rose, the co-founder and president of Populace, a nonprofit think tank that works to find solutions to redistribute opportunity, so all people have the chance to live fulfilling lives in a thriving society. Prior to Populace, he was a faculty member at Harvard University where he founded the Laboratory for the Science of Individuality and directed the Mind, Brain, and Education program. Todd is the best-selling author of Dark Horse and The End of Average. and his most recent book is called Collective Illusions.
For part two of our interview, I talk to Todd Rose about collective illusions. Humans are a tribal species, prone to conformity. In a lot of instances, we will act according to what our in-group wants rather than what we want as individuals. Ironically, Todd's research shows that we make poor inferences about the majority consensus. Failing to recognize collective illusions can have negative consequences on our identities, relationships, values, and society. To avoid falling into conformity traps, Todd encourages us to live congruent private and public lives that adhere to our personal convictions.
03:10 What is a collective illusion?
06:16 Social media and perceived consensus
13:38 Self-fulfilling political polarization
19:10 Socializing the concept of collective illusions
20:49 Gender bias in politics
22:59 Conformity traps in groups and relationships
28:15 Do republicans think the 2020 elections were rigged?
31:32 Preference falsification and manipulation
36:22 The need for belonging and self-expression
38:26 False expectations distort relationships
39:48 Congruence, positive deviance, and authentic responsibility
46:54 Norms as checking mechanisms