Groupthink

1185 WordsSep 7, 20115 Pages
On October 15, 1962, the United States viewed reconnaissance photographs of Cuba and discovered Soviet missiles which were under construction. The next day President John F. Kennedy was informed of the discovery and the President formed a group of twelve advisors to plan and handle the crisis. The advisors met for seven days to plan a strategy on how to handle the crisis and on October 22, 1962, President Kennedy revealed the crisis to the American public and of his decision to surround and blockade Cuba. President Kennedy also made the announcement that the Soviets would need to remove their missiles from Cuba and any missiles fired from Cuba would be considered a direct threat to and attack on the United States. President Kennedy…show more content…
The next change was the change in group atmosphere. The sessions would be devoted to open and frank discussion and the usual rules of protocol were to be suspended (Janis, 1982). A formal agenda was not followed during the sessions (Janis, 1982). Outside experts were invited to the sessions to give their views and were questioned about their conclusions (Janis, 1982). New advisors were brought in from time to time as visitors, and members of the group would ask these visitors for input during their discussions (Janis, 1982). The third change was the added meetings of subgroups. The Executive Committee was broken into two subgroups to facilitate critical thinking (Janis, 1982). The subgroups would meet separately to come up with a policy decision and would then come back together as one to debate and cross-examine each other’s decisions (Janis, 1982). The last change was the leaderless sessions. President Kennedy would deliberately be absent from the meetings, particularly in the beginning, to avoid influence on his advisors (Janis, 1982). When the President was absent from the meetings either Robert Kennedy or Secretary of State Dean Rusk would chair the meetings and were also instructed to not try to direct the group in decisions (Janis, 1982). The
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