Brush Up on SOCIOLOGY
Anyway, even if I took a virtual refresher course on Max Weber, and a mini- on Durkheim, I have latched, for now, on the topic of GROUPTHINK.
Let's go over some key ideas, thanks to the Generous License from those fine folk at Wikipedia.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search
Groupthink is a term coined by psychologist Irving Janis in 1972 to describe a process by which a group can make bad or irrational decisions. In a groupthink situation, each member of the group attempts to conform his or her opinions to what they believe to be the consensus of the group. In a general sense this seems to be a very rationalistic way to approach the situation. However this results in a situation in which the group ultimately agrees upon an action which each member might individually consider to be unwise (the risky shift).
Janis' original definition of the term was "a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members' strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action."
Janis listed eight symptoms that he said were indicative of groupthink:
1. Illusion of invulnerability
2. Unquestioned belief in the inherent morality of the group
3. Collective rationalization of group's decisions
4. Shared stereotypes of outgroup, particularly opponents
5. Self-censorship; members withhold criticisms
6. Illusion of unanimity (see false consensus effect)
7. Direct pressure on dissenters to conform
8. Self-appointed "mindguards" protect the group from negative information
Finally, the seven symptoms of decision affected by groupthink are:
1. Incomplete survey of alternatives
2. Incomplete survey of objectives
3. Failure to examine risks of preferred choice
4. Failure to re-appraise initially rejected alternatives
5. Poor information search
6. Selective bias in processing information at hand (see also confirmation bias)
7. Failure to work out contingency plans given to you