In the movie Mean Girls, the main characters are three girls that are labeled as The Plastics, who basically run the school. The leader of which is Regina George who bosses the other girls around a lot and. The new student Cady then joins the group and we see how the group slowly pulls her into their way of thought. Since Mean Girls main characters are in a ‘group’ setting the majority of the time, symptoms of Groupthink are portrayed several times throughout the movie.
Groupthink occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment”. Groupthink tends to be stronger when the group is very similar. The main group of girls in the movie are all very similar: dress the same, look the same, same financial background, ect. Irving Janis gave us the eight symptoms of groupthink and almost all of them were present in the movie. To Begin, Self-Censorship was the first thing that really jumped out right at the beginning of the movie. It is Cady with her two new friends and really only friends at this point, and the three of them are skipping class, which is a new concept to Cady. She knows in her head it’s not the right thing to do but because her new friend Janice tells her that it will be ok they are her friends and they won’t get her in trouble, she then goes against her judgment anyway. Cady only does this because they are her only friends and her only sense of security at her new school. She even says, “I was I no position to pass up friends.”
The next thing that I noticed was an example of illusion of unanimity, which is when the majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous. I saw this when Gretchen was giving Cady a rundown of the so called ‘rules’ of the plastics. Gretchen gave rules for the way they were to dress and act, such as no tank tops two days in a row, and your hair can only be in a ponytail once a week. You’re not told exactly where the...
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