Why the opinion of the majority is a poor guide

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Is the opinion of the majority a poor guide

Should you follow the opinion of the majority even if you had doubts?
Should you follow the crowd when you are unsure of your next step?

Most people feel safe when they find that they are moving with the crowd or following the opinion of the majority. There are many reasons that could make someone feel safe because of following others like the desire to remain in the comfort zone and the fear to take risks.

But what if the opinion of the majority was a poor guide? Read this article to know why in most cases you should never follow crowds.

Why the opinion of the majority is a poor guide

The first question you must ask yourself if you believe that the opinion of the majority is not a poor guide is "are most people happy?"

In fact most people are sad, not satisfied with their lives and are not happy. Why follow the crowd then?? When you find that the majority of people are happily singing and dancing in the streets then forget about your mind and follow them blindly but because the majority are stuck, helpless and unsuccessful you must give zero weight to their opinion.

This is why its extremely dangerous to believe that the opinion of the majority is not a poor guide:

  • Most people fear to take risks: Most people fear to step out of their comfort zones and thus they stick to each other even if the cost was doing something that would lead them nowhere. That's why following such people is a big mistake
  • What is the percentage of successful people?: In a class room you always find 2 or 3 kids who get the full mark. In a company you always find 3 percent of the people getting the high positions, in a town you only find few millionaires and in the world you only that successful people represent the minority. That's another reason why the opinion of the majority is a poor guide
  • Many of the people walking in the crowd are clueless: People who follow the crowd usually do it blindly. This means that they are not sure why they joined them or what will their destination be. Why are you giving a high weight to the clueless people who aren't sure why they followed the crowd? The opinion of the majority is usually a poor guide because most people follow the crowd out of psychological reasons without knowing why they did it

Should you follow the opinion of the majority?

In rare cases the majority might be right so before you decide whether you should put any weight to their opinion or not you need to use your mind, overcome your fears and make rational calculations.

In most cases you will find that the majority of people are miserable and that you must never follow them. People will always put pressure on you in order to stick to them because they fear that you do something that they never attempted to do.

Try to tell your friends that you are starting a business and you will find that most of them will put you down. Not because they know what they are talking about but because they are afraid to be left out if you succeed.

The opinion of the majority is certainly a poor guide.

Most people say nonsense so don't believe them and keep going. If they were really right they would have been happy, satisfied and successful but obviously most of them aren't.

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