|WHAT IS IT??||8 MAIN SYMPTOMS||NEGATIVE ASPECTS|
|HOW TO PREVENT||REMEDIES||EXAMPLES|
|ACTIVITY||ACT. DISCUSSION WEBQUEST DISCUSSION||REFERENCES CONTACT|
|GROUPTHINK: WHAT IS IT?
Groupthink is a term coined by social psychologist Irving Janis in 1972. Groupthink occurs when a homogenous highly cohesive group is so concerned with maintaining unanimity that they fail to evaluate all their alternatives and options. Groupthink members see themselves as part of an in-group working against an outgroup opposed to their goals.
|8 Main Symptoms of GroupThink
|Negative Outcomes of GroupThink
A few negative aspects of GroupThink with respect to the group decision making are:
|How to Prevent GroupThink
Group leaders can prevent groupthink by:
--Encouraging members to raise objections and concerns;
--Refraining from stating their preferences at the onset of the group's activities;
--Allowing the group to be independently evaluated by a separate group with a different leader;
--Splitting the group into sub-groups, each with different chairpersons, to separately generate alternatives, then bringing the sub-groups together to hammer out differences;
--Allowing group members to get feedback on the group's decisions from their own constituents;
--Seeking input from experts outside the group;
--Assigning one or more members to play the role of the devil's advocate;
--Requiring the group to develop multiple scenarios of events upon which they are acting, and contingencies for each scenario; and
--Calling a meeting after a decision consensus is reached in which all group members are expected to critically review the decision before final approval is given.
Decision experts have determined that groupthink may be prevented by adopting some of the following measures:
--The leader should assign the role of critical evaluator to each member
--The leader should avoid stating preferences and expectations at the outset
--Each member of the group should routinely discuss the groups' deliberations with a trusted associate and report back to the group on the associate's reactions
--One or more experts should be invited to each meeting on a staggered basis. The outside experts should be encouraged to challenge views of the members.
--At least one articulate and knowledgeable member should be given the role of devil's advocate (to question assumptions and plans)
--The leader should make sure that a sizeable block of time is set aside to survey warning signals from rivals; leader and group construct alternative scenarios of rivals' intentions.
--The Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961): Poor assumptions, planning, then abandonment of the troops. The Kennedy Cabinet during the Bay of Pigs Invasion. In Schlessinger's, A Thousand Days: Silent at the White House during the Bay of Pigs, RFK was quoted as approaching Schlesinger and saying: "You may be right or wrong, but the president has made up his mind. Don't push it any further. Now is the time to help him all we can." Schlesinger stopped his usual role as devil's advocate and critic and began to sanction his own challenges.
--The Challenger Disaster (1986): Administrators under time pressure ignored engineer's concerns about failure of the O-rings months before take-off in part due to recent bad press and the need to make NASA's efforts appear more timely. See Data from the disaster
This activity will be conducted in class.
Your group will have three minutes to create paper airplanes.
The group that follows the instructions the best will receive a fabulous prize.
No Questions will be allowed
You may design any type of plane you wish
All of your group's planes must look identical
One point will be awarded for each plane constructed.
You will be asked to fly one of your planes
One point will be awarded for each foot it flies along a straight runway.
As per Dr. Conlee's instructions, post these questions on your Group Discussion Board.
1. What are some of the symptoms of GroupThink?
2. Have you ever been in a group where GroupThink was prevalent?
3. How did the group leader/members deal with it?
4. Is GroupThink is always a bad thing?
Felipe Cobarruvias David Del Mundo
Ernie Garcia Josh Mack
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