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Groupthink

Remember: 1. Full screen 2. Arrow keys only! (Enjoy)
by

Christine Auchinleck

on 25 June 2013

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Transcript of Groupthink

Conformity & Concurrence
Groupthink
What is Groupthink?
Watch irrational group-conformity at work in this 1962 Candid Camera video as seen in a
Discovering Psychology
episode entitled
The Power of the Situation.
Antecedents to
Groupthink
Illusion of invulnerability:
optimism -> risk taking
Collective rationalization:

do not reconsider assumptions
Belief in inherent morality:

certain of their rightness -> ignore ethical consequences
Stereotyped views of out-groups:
negative views of outsiders -> lack of concern
Direct pressure on dissenters:
no arguments against group’s views
Self-censorship:

do not express doubts -> concurrence valued
Illusion of unanimity:

majority view assumed unanimous
Self-appointed ‘mindguards’:

protect group from contradictory information
Results of Groupthink
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | I
Famous Examples of Groupthink Influence
1939-
Groupthink Research
Asch Experiment
Milgram Experiment
Preventing Groupthink
8 Symptoms of
Groupthink
Stanford Prison Experiment
References
1970s & 80s: Irving L. Janis
a mode of thinking
involving group decision-making
main feature: premature concurrence-seeking
common in a cohesive/uniform group

"strivings for unanimity override their motivation to appraise the consequences of their actions" (p. 21).
concurrence
conformity
agreement
homogeneity
irrationality
High group cohesiveness
Structural faults:
insulation of the group
leadership issues
lack of methodological procedures for decision-making
similarity of members' social backgrounds and ideology
Situational context:
highly stressful external threats
recent group failures
difficult decision to be made
moral dilemmas
have clear objectives
consider alternatives
seek expert opinions
seek out all information
reevaluate
have contingency plans
A team influenced by Groupthink
does _________
NOT
Encourage critical evaluation, objections, and concerns

Do not state preferences at the onset of a meeting

Allow independent evaluation by a separate group/leader

Separately generate alternatives in sub-groups

Seek input from experts outside the group

Assign 'devil's advocates'

Develop multiple scenarios of events and contingencies for each scenario

Call a meeting after a decision is made to critically review the decision before final approval
#1 devil's
advocate
The Holocaust
1961 & '62
The Bay
of Pigs
1986
The Challenger
Disaster
2002
Swissair
Collapse
Cuban Missile
Crisis
1978
Jonestown
Massacre
2003
Invasion of Iraq ?
I
(some)
critical thinking
fact-finding
expert advice
dissent
diversity
Theory Presentation Part 3
Visual Presentation- Groupthink Theory
Christine Auchinleck

Theory in Interdisciplinary Studies: INDS 500
Professor W. Schissel
October 14th, 2012

GROUPTHINK THEORY
(Janis, 1973)
Esser, J.K. (1998) Alive and well after 25 years: A review of groupthink research. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision
Processes, 73(2-3), 116-141.

Fighting Groupthink With Dissent. (2009). In PsyBlog. Retrieved from http://www.spring.org.uk/2009/07/fighting-groupthink-
with-dissent.php

Goby, V.P. (2007). Business communication needs: A multicultural perspective. Journal of Business and Technical
Communication, 21(4), 425-437.

Janis, I.L. (1973). Groupthink and group dynamics: A social psychological analysis of defective policy decisions. Policy Studies
Journal, 2(1), 19.

Milgram, S. (1974). Obedience to authority: An experimental view. USA: Harper & Row.

McCauley, C. (1989). The nature of social influence in groupthink: Compliance and internalization. Journal Of Personality And
Social Psychology, 57(2), 250-260.

McCauley, C. (1998). Group dynamics in Janis's theory of groupthink: Backward and forward. Organizational Behaviour and
Human Decision Processes, 73(2-3), 142-162.

Moorhead, G., & Montanari, J.R. (1986). An empirical investigation of the groupthink phenomenon. Human Relations, 39(5), 399-
410.

Sims, R. R. (1992). Linking groupthink to unethical behavior in organizations. Journal of Business Ethics, 11(9), 651-651.

Smith, A. (Producer). (2001). The power of the situation. [Program 19]. Discovering Psychology. Retrieved from

Wapcaplet (Creator). (2004). Milgram Experiment. [png illustration]. Retrieved from
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Milgram_Experiment.png

Zimbardo, P. (Producer/Director). (1991). Quiet rage: The Stanford prison experiment. Retrieved from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKWMzREPp4

(Janis, 1973)
(Goby, 2007; Janis, 1973; McCauley, 1989, 1998; Moorhead & Montanari, 1986)
(Janis, 1973; Sims, 1992; Troyer & Youngreen, 2009)
(Esser, 1998; Janis, 1982)
From
Discovering Psychology
video series (Smith, 2001).
From
Quiet rage: The Stanford prison experiment
(Zimbardo, 1991).
Used with permission from Wapcaplet 2004.
Milgram demonstrated how ordinary people can put ethical considerations aside when pressured to perform a task.
(Milgram, 1974).
Full transcript