What is the phenomenon of multiple ignorance

Imagine that you expressed an opinion that seemed so natural to you, so self-evident - you were sure that no one in their right mind would dispute it. But it turned out that you are not even in the minority - all alone. Has something like this ever happened to you?

Or the opposite situation: you and your friends watched a Portuguese-made film in the cinema, which did not cause any feelings, except for boredom and bewilderment, but pretend to share the admiration of the whole company. Or sitting in a restaurant with friends, ordering a bottle of expensive wine and discussing its exquisite taste, which in fact makes you associate with glass washing liquid. And you might not be alone - just a phenomenon known in psychology as the "phenomenon of multiple ignorance" played a cruel joke with you and your friends.

The term "the phenomenon of multiple ignorance" was coined in 1931 by psychologists Daniel Katz and Floyd Allport. This term refers to the surprisingly common situation in which one member of the group is confident that everyone else's opinion is directly opposite to his own. This is a kind of version of the fairy tale about the naked king that constantly happens in real life.

Katz and Allport conducted a series of experiments with students from Syracuse University. It turned out that this phenomenon can easily make young people drink alcohol in large quantities and go all out - it is enough to convince them that EVERYONE is doing this.

Likewise, this phenomenon can apply to anything from eating habits and dressing habits to political opinions.