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What is Conventional Wisdom and Can It be Changed?

Conventional wisdom means expert opinion and ideas commonly recognized as real or factual. Many people agree and use them to make life decisions every time. Some people who are not in favor of the accepted ideas also stay committed as they are concerned about being labeled as foolish or unreasonable. They shy away from going against what the majority public thinks.

The expert opinion refers to the long-term generally accepted ideas. New ideas never come easily, so an expert can cling to old philosophies. Generally, it is the education and experience of the expert that counts and puts the ideas in the conventional wisdom category.


In the book Routineology, conventional wisdom is found everywhere. The question arises whether it is accurate or not. Generally, accepted conventional wisdom is true in certain situations. For example, a commonly accepted opinion is that politicians lie. It is true often, but they even share truth at times. This kind of conventional wisdom is not sufficient to define what actually is occurring in a political arena.

Can conventional wisdom be changed?

Changes in conventional wisdom can be slow. Over time, public and expert opinions do change. For example, centuries ago there was conventional wisdom that women look after their children and home. Over course change has occurred. Today, you will find men taking care of kids and home, while women follow their career.

Changes can even happen faster like in the past conventional wisdom say that juvenile diabetes is fatal. Today, with insulin diabetic children are living a healthy and long life.

When conventional wisdom seems wrong never go against it but discuss to a person who understands the thought development process.

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