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Groupthink Theory Essay

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GROUPTHINK THEORY COMM410 As people, when confronted with a problem where a solution must be found, our ideal situation is to come up with the best possible one. To do this, we ideally gather the most knowledgeable, intelligent individuals into a group and attempt to derive the best solution to the problem. With the collection of these people, one would think that finding the best possible answer to the problem would be a rather simple task. However, what has happened in many situations is the complete opposite. Rather than finding the best possible solutions, many ideal, cohesive groups arrive at the worst possible answer largely due to problems in communication within the group. This is what we call the radical theory of…show more content…
With the potential of having many opinions within the group, it can be difficult and time costly to ultimately reach a consensus. As individuals, we are all rhetoricians and have different methods of communication. When it comes to discussing our opinions and persuading group members of our ideas, arguments are sometimes created because of the diversity within the group. What matters is whether the argument is productive or not. “While there are many unproductive arguments, others generate some of the most creative joint thinking we ever achieve together” (Mercer, 74). Unfortunately, in the case of groupthink, arguments tend to be avoided at all costs. 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
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