Summary of Going to Extremes

How Like Minds Unite and Divide

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Going to Extremes book summary
Extremism grows when people join groups that agree with them.


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This fascinating tour of the sociology of extremism provides a general description of its impact on society and describes specific tactics for leaders and managers who want to foster open discussion while promoting a democratic workplace. Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein addresses polarization by presenting results from numerous studies. Polarization affects every group interaction, including those of lawyers, judges, doctors, elected officials and the military. getAbstract recommends this book to those interested in promoting open discussions or in preventing pathologies that create mob behaviors and even genocide.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What is the concept of “group polarization,”
  • Which social factors create extreme behaviors and
  • How to prevent the rise of extreme viewpoints.


When People Talk
When people get together to talk about an issue, do they find common ground and compromise? Do they consider all perspectives? In short, no. Hundreds of studies worldwide show that when groups discuss an issue, members take a more extreme position in the direction they...
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About the Author

Cass R. Sunstein is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard University, and the author of Nudge (with Richard Thaler) and Infotopia.

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