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Risky shift

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Main article: Choice shift

The risky shift is a concept in social psychology.The risky shift occurs when a group collectively agrees on a course of action that is more extreme than they would have made if asked individually.


In group conditions, people with relatively moderate viewpoints tend to assume that their groupmates hold more extreme views, and to alter their own views in compensation--a phenomenon known as groupthink. This can occur simultaneously and in isolation: all group members might adjust their views to a more conservative or liberal position, thus leading to a "consensus" that is totally false.

Risky shift is one side of a more general phenomenon called group polarization. Depending on the initial tendencies of group members, a group discussion may lead to a more risky decision or a more conservative decision. Decisions taken by a group after discussion display more experimentation, are less conservative and are more risky than those made by individuals acting alone prior to any discussion.

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