The Dangers of Groupthink

A philosophical friend of ours attributes many of the ills of the world not to human evil, but to Groupthink. You’ve probably heard of the word, but as we are about to make so many crucial decisions collectively-the environment, economy and the future of football come to mind-it might be worth taking a couple of minutes to examine this phenomenon again.

Groupthink was first characterised by pioneering American Psychologist Irving Janis. Psychology Today defines it as:

Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when a group of well-intentioned people makes irrational or non-optimal decisions spurred by the urge to conform or the belief that dissent is impossible.

We link to the full article below. * It’s a lovely starting point, raising questions of why it happens, how it happens and laying out some of the disastrous consequences. Well, you should read it, but to make sure that you do, we are going to set you two little exercises.

Here’s the link

Groupthink | Psychology Today

exercise one: Have you ever worked in a place where you believe that groupthink was going on around you? Did it lead to some bad decisions?

exercise two: here’s a list of some of the worst blunders ever,* from that excellent website How Stuff Works. You’ll notice they are from many areas including business, medicine and history. How many would you attribute to groupthink, or are there other factors as well?

10 of the Worst Decisions Ever Made | HowStuffWorks

Here is a sure way to keep your groupthinking levels low: read more of Psychology Today and How Stuff Works. What admirable websites!

#groupthink #psychology #irvingjanis #decisionmaking #error #blunder

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