Going to Extremes: How Like Minds Unite and Divide

By Cass Sunstein

Recommended on: 1st March 2021

Cass Sunstein’s Going to Extremes is, quite simply, a classic. We wish every person would read this book. This excerpt gives an excellent idea of the key ideas that the book delves into.

“Much of the time, groups of people end up thinking and doing things that group members would never think or do on their own. This is true for groups of teenagers, who are willing to run risks that individuals would avoid. It is certainly true for those prone to violence, including terrorists and those who commit genocide. It is true for investors and corporate executives. It is true for government officials, neighborhood groups, social reformers, political protestors, police officers, student organizations, labor unions, and juries. Some of the best and worst developments in social life are a product of group dynamics, in which members of organizations, both small and large, move one another in new directions… When people find themselves in groups of like-minded types, they are especially likely to move to extremes… Political extremism is often a product of group polarization, and social segregation is a useful tool for producing polarization.”

This is one of the top ten books we would recommend that all well-read people should read.

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