Groupthink is a psychological dynamic in groups where the desire for harmony leads to poor decision-making, characterized by suppressed dissent and inadequate evaluation of alternatives and risks.
Groupthink: A psychological phenomenon occurring within a group of people, where the desire for harmony or conformity results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Each member of the group attempts to conform their opinions to what they believe to be the consensus of the group, leading to a situation where dissenting viewpoints are suppressed and critical analysis is neglected.
- Illusion of Invulnerability: Members of the group share an optimistic bias, believing they are immune to mistakes and failures, leading to riskier decisions.
- Collective Rationalization: The group dismisses warnings or negative feedback, rationalizing their decisions to maintain cohesion.
- Belief in Inherent Morality: The group believes in the moral righteousness of their decisions, ignoring the ethical implications.
- Stereotyping Outsiders: Those outside the group are seen as antagonistic, strengthening the group’s unity and commitment to their decisions.
- Self-Censorship: Members withhold dissenting views and counter-arguments.
- Illusion of Unanimity: Silence is interpreted as consent, creating the false appearance of agreement.
- Direct Pressure on Dissenters: Members who express disagreement face pressure to conform.
- Mindguards: Some members take on the role of protecting the group from dissenting information.
- Group Cohesiveness: Highly cohesive groups are more likely to engage in groupthink as the members are more focused on maintaining harmony and solidarity.
- Situational Context: High-stress situations, isolation of the group, and pressing deadlines can contribute to groupthink.
- Incomplete Survey of Alternatives: The group fails to consider all possible options and strategies.
- Incomplete Survey of Objectives: The group does not thoroughly evaluate the goals and objectives of the decision.
- Failure to Examine Risks of the Preferred Choice: Potential downsides of the decision are not fully explored.
- Poor Information Search: The group does not seek out enough information to make an informed decision.
- Selective Bias in Processing Information: The group only pays attention to information that supports their decision.
- Failure to Reappraise Initially Rejected Alternatives: Alternatives that are initially dismissed are not reconsidered.
- Failure to Work Out Contingency Plans: The group does not plan for potential setbacks or complications.