What is groupthink? There is a simple definition for it, but is it truly that simple? The term groupthink refers to the inclination of group members to have the same opinions and beliefs; it frequently leads to mistakes. It often occurs without an individual being aware of it. Conflict is considered to be a harmful element when related to groups, but conflict is good when considering groupthink because it helps to eliminate the existence of a groupthink. The explanation sounds simple enough, but it is more complex than the description given.
Groupthink can be defined as a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in irrational decision-making. In 1971, twenty-four psychologically stable men took part in a trial known as The Stanford Prison Experiment. The purpose of the experiment was to prove that an individual’s perception of their own power is heavily influenced by social context and societal expectations of their role. The men involved in the experiment were assigned either the role of a prisoner or a guard to represent positions in society, both with power and without. More specifically, the conductors of The Stanford Prison Experiment focused on analyzing the different behavioral
In the article “The Stanford Prison Experiment”, the author Philip Zimbardo tells an experiment that ran by a professor who wants to find how could a prison environment influence people in it. According to what the authors describes, the experiment is getting more and more out of control. Prisoners are getting tame and keepers are getting bossy which forces the team to stop the experiment in 6 days instead of 14 days. At the end, the author claims his idea about the experiment that he is surprised by how people can change in a special environment. As for me, this article gives me an idea that in some special situation, such as the prison environment in this article, groupthink is something unavoidable and uncontrollable.
Being in a group can be a wonderful experience except if you have a leader and you don't have a voice. Suddenly that can become dangerous and that is what we call groupthink. How can being in a groupthink be dangerous? Groupthink can be extremely dangerous because people will follow blindly, set aside their morals, and throw away any logic that they have.
This case, as well as the previous two, are prime examples of how detrimental groupthink can have on the effect of your career or the lives of several others. It may not always be easy to recognize the dangers or altercations groupthink may have, which is why you should always appoint ‘mind guards’ to contradict the decisions made within a group setting. It is always beneficial to seek an outside source for their opinion, as it may be just the idea that the group has
The Bay of Pigs fiasco, the Challenger Disaster, and the U.S. failure to anticipate the attack on Pearl Harbor – all notable examples of how groupthink tends to plague groups with high cohesiveness (What is Groupthink, n.d.). Oxford Dictionaries defines groupthink as “the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility” (Groupthink, n.d.). With this in mind, it is no surprise that groupthink is going to be a major problem in an organization, such as the military, that values uniformity and a strict chain of command. There is a lot of research on groupthink and evidence of groupthink is apparent in nearly every social group, no matter the size. So, how does a junior officer in the military go about minimizing groupthink among his subordinates and peers without affecting values such as uniformity and chain of command? In order to minimize groupthink, you must minimize the symptoms by encouraging honesty, accountability, and differing opinions. This paper will demonstrate how a junior officer can combat groupthink within the decision making process, standard operating procedures, and the culture of the command.
Decision making is affected by the Group Think because of the lack of openness that should be displayed and offered by everyone involved. The development of the organization is dependent on the ability of the group to make decisions that are thought through and not made solely on pressures and accepted or narrow minded ways that are not thought out.
In social psychology, and more importantly sociology, groupthink is a process by which members of a cohesive group arrive at a decision that many individual members privately believe it is unwise. Jonestown is an example of what can be considered dangerous conformity. The members of the Peoples Temple originally thought being in the organization was the right thing to do and they were making the right choices, but that day they followed their leader in drinking the cyanide Kool-Aid, some thought the ideas were unwise. Even though the members of the cult were questioning the idea in their head, they followed along with their leader. They never had a thought that Jones would do anything like what happened that
“Groupthink being a coinage - and, admittedly, a loaded one - a working definition is in order. We are not talking about mere instinctive conformity - it is, after all, a perennial failing of mankind. What we are talking about is a rationalized conformity - an open, articulate philosophy which holds that group values are not only expedient but right and good as well (p. 114).”
The term groupthink in this report is defined as, the social psychological phenomenon that results in groups during pressure situations. This social psychology theory is broken down into eight signs. Illusion of invulnerability, Collective rationalization, Belief in inherent morality, Stereotyped views of out-groups, Direct pressure on dissenters, Self-censorship, Illusion of unanimity, Self-appointed “mindguards”. According to research conducted by Irving Janis, there are three conditions to groupthink. The first, "high group cohesiveness" which is the direction for a group to be in unity while working towards a goal, or to satisfy the emotional needs of its members. Secondly, the structural faults such as insulation of the group, lack
All with differing skills and levels of experience, to allow a service to be provided efficiently and effectively. Each member of the team has a purpose and a function within that team, so the overall success depends on a functional interdependency. There is usually not as much room for conflict when working as a team. The team also does not rely on groupthink to arrive at its conclusions.
Groupthink theory often occurs without the group’s realization. Irving Janis formed 8 different symptoms that indicate groupthink. The first of these symptoms is illusions of vulnerability. This occurs when members of the group are overly optimistic and believe that nothing negative will arise from their decision. Janis describes it as taking great risks and acquiring the attitude of “everything is going to be OK, because we are a special group”. Secondly we have belief in inherent morality. This symptom is characterized as the groups thought that they could do no wrong. They believe that they have high morality, that they are right in all situations and they ignore the ethical consequences that could arise because of their decisions. As the third
Furthermore, groupthink and group polarization also occurred in the movie. Groupthink is the tendency for members to reach solidarity, and the group often avoids questions that could lead to disputes (Iurchevici, 2016). In order for groupthink to occur, the group must be highly cohesive, in a group structure, and in a stressful situation (Kassin et al., 2013). All three of these were present in the movie, as the members of the group
The personal style and personalities of each member in a group may be influence their team effectiveness. Individuals will tend to play an important role in a group and depend on their personality and working group style. To improve a team and effectiveness in project or working, each team member need to understand the role of every member in a group. With 3 contemporary theories of team roles to use in our group is:
This type of group mentality is referred to as “groupthink.” Group think, a concept discovered by Irving Janis, is the thought process that takes place among members of a cohesive group wherein they cease to consider their individual desires and instead respond according to group beliefs. This is done to ensure the solidity of the group. The members value this even more than their own views.