conventional wisdom

Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

the conventional wisdom

Common knowledge that is held to be true, but may not be. The conventional wisdom says to feed a cold and starve a fever, but that doesn't reflect current medical practice.
See also: conventional, wisdom

conventional wisdom

A widely held belief on which most people act. For example, According to conventional wisdom, an incumbent nearly always wins more votes than a new candidate . This term was invented by John Kenneth Galbraith, who used it in The Affluent Society (1958) to describe economic ideas that are familiar, predictable, and therefore accepted by the general public. Today it is used in any context where public opinion has considerable influence on the course of events.
See also: conventional, wisdom

conventional/received ˈwisdom

the view or belief that most people have: Conventional wisdom has it that riots only ever happen in big cities.The term conventional wisdom was first used by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith in his book The Affluent Society.
References in periodicals archive ?
The conventional wisdom told us for many years that the Liberals were dead ducks, expiring as a party, to be replaced forever by the NDP, which would vie with the Conservatives for power.
The conventional wisdom works for Pauken, to a point; Cruz, now the state's junior U.
Perhaps lawmakers will see that the value of defined benefit plan relief trumps the conventional wisdom.
Conventional wisdom says that a lender should hire a consulting engineer who will serve several functions: oversee the project and ensure that the work is being done; that the developer is only getting advanced the percentage completed; and that subs and suppliers are being paid and that all of the work is being done correctly.
The automotive industry has a very bad track record of jumping on the latest conventional wisdom and making numerous bad business decisions as a result.
Recently the town of Drachten, Holland, adopted an approach to traffic safety that not only defies conventional wisdom but is eerily similar to relational aesthetics: The town square has been stripped of all directional signs and road markings, the curbs flattened, and the entire traffic area paved in identical stones.
Challenging Conventional Wisdom includes articles by people in academia, government, think tanks with at least a passing liberal bias, journalism, and the military.
The presidential commission investigating intelligence failures leading to the Iraq war wrote the following in its final report, released in March: "[I]t is hard to deny the conclusion that intelligence analysts worked in an environment that did not encourage skepticism about the conventional wisdom.
When the dollar gets weak, gold prices soar, according to conventional wisdom.
California CPA, December 2004), I feel that he is ignoring the substance over form in what he calls a "figment of conventional wisdom.
My most radical departure from conventional wisdom is to propose a nonfundamentalist understanding of Islam.
Organizing the book around source type--a strategy intended to explode conventional wisdom through the sheer mass of material--also results in considerable repetition, despite its systematic advantages.
Another challenge is simply avoiding the "group think" of a management team in the grip of conventional wisdom.
Perhaps learning the conventional wisdom and going with your best judgment is just as effective, as well as easier and cheaper.
The old saying is that if something is conventional wisdom, watch out: conventional wisdom is almost always wrong, That appears to be the case with incoming Bank of France Governor Christian Noyer.
Full browser ?