What Is Groupthink. Explain.

Topics: Social psychology, Morality, Decision making Pages: 2 (647 words) Published: December 14, 2010
Q.2 . What is groupthink. Explain. [10]

According to Irving Janis(1972) , groupthink is "a deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment resulting from in-group pressures". Thus, the overemphasis on consensus and agreement leads members to be unwilling to evaluate group members’ ideas critically. This hinders decision-making and becomes an obstacle to group productivity. Certain conditions favour the development of groupthink. i) The first condition is high cohesiveness. Cohesive groups tend to avoid conflicts and to demand conformity. ii) The second is other antecedents including directive leadership, high stress, insulation of the group and lack of methodical procedures for developing and evaluating alternatives. A group suffering from groupthink displays recognizable symptoms. Symptoms of Groupthink and how to Prevent It

• Illusions of invulnerability: Group members feel they are above criticism. This symptom leads to excessive optimism and risk taking. • Illusions of group morality: Group members feel they are moral in their actions and therefore above reproach. This symptom leads the group to ignore the ethical implications of their decisions. • Illusions of unanimity: Group members believe there is unanimous agreement on the decisions. Silence is misconstrued as consent. • Rationalization: Group members concoct explanations for their decisions to make them appear rational and correct. The results are that other alternatives are not considered, and there is an unwillingness to reconsider the group’s assumptions. • Stereotyping the enemy: Competitors are stereotyped as evil or stupid. This leads the group to underestimate its opposition. • Self-censorship: Members do not express their doubts or concerns about the course of action. This prevents critical analysis of the decisions. • Peer pressure: Any members who express doubts or concerns are pressured by other group members, who question their loyalty. • Mind guards: Some...
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