The pluses and minuses of groupthink

The pluses and minuses of groupthink

Susan Cain recently wrote about the advantages and limitations of team work versus going it alone in the New York Times Sunday Review.

Cain said that research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption. But solitude is out of fashion. Our companies, our schools, and our culture believe that creativity and achievement come from an oddly gregarious place.

The problems we face in science, economics and many other fields are more complex than ever before, and we’ll need to stand on one another’s shoulders if we can possibly hope to solve them. But even if the problems are different, human nature remains the same. And most humans have two contradictory impulses: we love and need one another, yet we crave privacy and autonomy.

If that knocked your socks off, take a look at our next cool topic, MAA Found Math. And if you want to peruse all of the previous sock-knocking blog entries, visit the Knocked My Socks Off archive. (links to another blog site)

Cain S. The Rise of the New Groupthink. The New York Times Sunday Review. January 13, 2012. Accessed February 28, 2012.

Image by Andy Rementer. Copyright 2012 The New York Times Company.