In this video, economist and author Tim Harford teaches an important lesson about succeeding at failure through the story of psychologist Leon Festinger’s infiltration of a cult led by Dorothy Martin in 1954. Festinger studied the cult members’ reaction to Martin’s false prophecy that the world would be destroyed the following day.Harford uses this example to illustrate the concept of cognitive dissonance. All of us, he says, are at risk of cognitive dissonance in a small way whenever we make a mistake, particularly a mistake on something that’s important to us. We are most at risk when our self-image is under threat. Harford then walks us through an antidote to this phenomenon -- to prepare to be a successful failure. To do that, Harford explains, we need to have a successful mindset and a plan of action for learning from our mistakes.
Groups of people make more effective decisions when diverse viewpoints are brought to the table. Learn the psychology of non-conformity and how it applies to your team in this lesson excerpt from economist Tim Harford. The full lesson is available on Big Think Edge.
We need to push decision making authority as far down the organization as possible. Then people can try new things.
Tim Harford has been called “Britain’s Malcolm Gladwell.” He is the well-known “Undercover Economist” for the Financial Times. His new book is called "ADAPT: Why Success Always Starts with Failure."