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I forgot the name, but I remember reading about it in lifehacker or i09 some time ago.

When the group feels a certain way, but say that they feel the other way to avoid being the only one to agree. Despite all of them feeling the same way.

For example, a group goes to a restaurant. All of them hate the food. But no one wants to be the one to say it, so they all unwittingly say it's great and that they are enjoying.

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3 Answers 3

I believe the name you are searching for is conformity.

One of the most well-known examples: Asch Conformity Experiments.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I finally found it - It was group polarization.

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Polarization isn't exactly what you describe in the question. When a group becomes polarized, the beliefs they had to begin with become more extreme from exposure to like-minded individuals - i.e. if you leave a group of moderately racist people in a room together, they will come out more bigoted than when they came in due to polarization. –  Eoin Sep 5 at 11:25

I think the title and the example given described 2 slightly different situations,

Answering strictly from the title:

I also believe that conformity is what you are looking for, or more specifically normative conformity, in relation to the "odd one out" feeling that you mentioned.

Closely related to conformity, Groupthink may also explains the phenomenon, which stated that an individual might suppresses a dissenting/opposing opinion to keep the peace & harmony of a group, though it's more commonly explained in group decision-making situations.

On the other hand, Group Polarization mainly refers to group phenomenon where a group tend to take a more extreme decisions than the initial inclinations of its members. Meaning that such decisions are less likely to be taken in individual situations.

Now, answering from the given example is a little bit harder because it depends on what made them not wanting to voice their opinion (that they hated the food).

If it's purely because none of them wanted to go against the others opinions, then it's conformity/groupthink as stated above. But how can one go against others opinion when their opinion is one and the same? I would argue that they don't necessarily know that all of them have the same opinion, instead it's very plausible that a few misreading of body-language, or some misunderstood comments would make someone thinks that everyone enjoyed the food, and thus acted accordingly, which in turn would reinforce the others to act the same way.

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