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Authority and the Group Mind

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Authority and the Group Mind

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  • May 2013
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Society and The Group Mind

Group mind is a controversial topic that can greatly effect our society. This psychological phenomenon occurs when a group of peers hold very similar thoughts and make decisions in a way that discourages contradicting opinions and behaviors. This happens when peers in a group conform to certain beliefs to minimize any conflict and to prevent social isolation. Since group mind can happen to anybody, from a small group of elementary school-aged students to a larger group of activists in a political movement, group mind and its effects on society have become a very significant topic among academic scholars. Writer Doris Lessing points out the negative effects that group mind can have on our society. Jonah Lehrer also indicates that group mind and power can be damaging to our community. Furthermore, David Brooks argues that group mind can be detrimental to the way people view just authority figures. These scholars have described group mind and its effects on society and authority in different ways. For example, Lessing, the author of “Group Minds,” says it is dangerous for us to misunderstand our human tendency to conform because we can be blindly obedient as a result. Brooks, the author of “The Follower Problem,” contends that it is an issue that many in today’s society conform to the idea that we should automatically distrust any authority figure. On the other hand, Lehrer, the author of “The Power Trip,” argues that most people in positions of power become unethical. Therefore, these writers are pointing out the harmful effects of the group mind for our society. The group mind’s effects on authority figures are just one of the things that can be damaging to communities. Authority figures and how they relate to the group mind phenomenon are discussed by these mentioned writers. Lehrer views people in positions of power negatively. He argues that people who are generally likable, friendly, and outgoing gain power and respect among...