Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=441340
 
 

Citations



 


 



Why Societies Need Dissent


Cass R. Sunstein


Harvard Law School


Sunstein, Cass R., WHY SOCIETIES NEED DISSENT, Harvard University Press, September 2003

Abstract:     
This book discusses social influences on individual behavior and the risk of error stemming from conformity. Special attention is given to three phenomena: individual conformity to erroneous positions held by group members; informational and reputational cascades; and group polarization, by which individuals end up in a more extreme position in line with their predeliberation tendencies. Applications include legal precedent; terrorism; the effects of largely unenforced law; jury behavior; judicial behavior on panels; free speech; and affirmative action. New data, discussing how judicial votes are affected by judicial colleagues, attests to the pervasiveness of conformity and group polarization. Taken as a whole, the evidence suggests the importance of individual disclosure and dissent to prevent errors by a wide range of social groups.

Note: This is a description of the book and not an actual excerpt.

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: September 3, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Sunstein, Cass R., Why Societies Need Dissent. Sunstein, Cass R., WHY SOCIETIES NEED DISSENT, Harvard University Press, September 2003. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=441340

Contact Information

Cass R. Sunstein (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts Ave
Areeda Hall 225
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2291 (Phone)
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