Presented By


Azaz Ahmed Bibhuti B. Bhardwaj Gangaram Sapkota

What is a Groupthink?
Groupthink is a method of thought

a way of thinking performed by a group of individuals in an effort to curtail discord and to arrive at a sense of accord or agreement.

Groupthink was discovered as an undesirable by-product of group

cohesiveness by a psychologist named Irving Janis.

A group is vulnerable to groupthink

 the group is insulated from outside opinions

 there are no clear rules for
decision making

During the Groupthink process

 members are similar in background

individuals will test, analyze and evaluate the group ideas under examination.

Symptoms of Group Think:
Illusion of Invulnerability: Members ignore obvious danger, take extreme risk, and are overly optimistic.

Collective Rationalization: Members discredit and explain away warning contrary to group thinking

Symptoms of Group Think:
Illusion of Morality: Members believe their decisions are morally correct, ignoring
the ethical consequences of their decisions

Excessive Stereotyping: The group constructs negative stereotypes of rivals outside the group.

Symptoms of Group Think:
Pressure for Conformity: Members pressure any in the group who express arguments against the group's stereotypes, illusions, or commitments, viewing such

opposition as disloyalty

Self-Censorship: Members withhold their dissenting views and counter-


Symptoms of Group Think:
Illusion of Unanimity: Members perceive falsely that everyone agrees with the group's decision; silence is seen as consent.

Mind guards: Some members appoint themselves to the role of protecting the group

from adverse information that might threaten group complacency.

Examples of groupthink



Swissair’s Collapse: Thought to be so financially stable that people referred to it

as the “Flying Bank.” Poor decision-making processes eventually led to its

Symptoms: The belief that the group is invulnerable and the belief in the morality of the group. Lack of expertise, similar backgrounds / norms and pressure to conform were also present. Consequences: Collapse of Swissair

Vietnam war: Groupthink is believed to be main reason for the war. Strategic advisors in 3 successive administrations rubber-stamped battle plans laced with false assumptions.

Symptoms: Groupthink prevented contradictory views to the war from being expressed and subsequently evaluated.

Consequences: 58,220 United States servicemen died.

Major League Umpire Association: In 1999, the Major League Baseball Association staged a mass resignation in a failed attempt to gain a stronger negotiating stance. Symptoms: The umpires overestimated the power that they had over the baseball league and the strength of their group’s resolve. There was the presence of self-censorship; some umpires who disagreed with the decision to resign failed to voice their dissent. Consequences: Failed strategy, Major League Baseball accepted their

resignations, 22 umpires were out of jobs and eventually replaced.

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