There are several ways to define pluralistic ignorance, and that’s because it’s kind of a brain twister when you try to put it into words. On certain issues, the majority of the people believe that the majority of the people in a group believe what, in truth, the minority of the members believe. Or put another way, it is the erroneous belief that the majority is acting in a way that matches its internal philosophies, and that you are one of a small number of people who feel differently, when in reality the majority agrees with you on the inside but is afraid to admit it outright or imply such through its behavior. Everyone in a group, at the same time, gets stuck following a norm that no one wants to follow, because everyone is carrying a shared, false belief about everyone else’s unshared true beliefs.
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