Groupthink

Dysfunctional decision-making in harmonious groups of people.

Introduction

Groupthink is a psychological phenomena where we agree with other people just to keep the harmony of the group, even though in secret we don't agree with them.

Watch the funny and short explainer video from MinuteVideos.com to the right to see how it works.

Effects of Groupthink

At scale, groupthink can become very dangerous because it has a "radicalising" effect that fosters racist, nationalist and other extremist point of views.

In the corporate world it can lead to one sided thinking that fosters the development of uncompetitive products or inefficient processes.

Groupthink has 8 symptoms. Read about them below so you can make sure that you avoid groupthink in the future, wherever it comes up.

1. Illusion of invulnerability

The feeling of certainty when you start a new project and the belief that everything you do will surely work out. This bias means you don't adequately assess the risk of the task you are about to embark on.

2. Stereotyping Others

The Idea that others are all the same and could never succeed at what you're trying to do.

3. Self-censorship

Not saying what you think because you don't want to be an outcast and preserve harmony in the group.

4. Illusion of unanimity

The idea that everyone in your group surely agrees with you!

5. Unquestioned belief

The idea that your plan will surely workout and disregarding obvious signs that it wont.

6. Direct Pressure

Pressuring other members in your group to agree with you as soon as you realise that they might have different ideas.

7. Rationalizing

Finding reasons to agree with an idea, even though you don't really agree with it, just to avoid a conflict with the group.

8. Mindguard

Mindguards are those people in a group who make sure that no-one who could disturb the agreement of the group will come close and introduce "other" ideas.

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