hdchris (hdchris) wrote in rsqubf,

The eight symptoms of groupthink


The term groupthink was coined to describe the phenomena of consensus seeking at any cost. It may be viewed as an extreme form of group conformity that results in diminished decision-making capabilities. Groupthink involves the non-deliberate suppression of critical thoughts because of internalization of the group’s norms. This implies that groupthink does not occur because of the use of coercive power; rather, it occurs when members of a group or team become so enmeshed and close knit that their thinking becomes conditioned by the group. Leaders who encourage the development of in-groups and out-groups or who use their positional or personal power to create extremely cohesive groups, might unwittingly also increase their group’s vulnerability to developing groupthink. Charismatic and transformational leaders who focus specifically on personal power to build connections with the group could also set up a particular vulnerability to this process. [...]

Groupthink is characterized by eight symptoms. The first symptom is the illusion of invulnerability. This leads the group to become overly optimistic, take extreme risks, and fail to respond to clear warnings of danger by limiting discussions to few alternatives. The second symptom, rationalization, occurs when members focus on past successes as an indication of future performance. This serves to discount warnings, leading to the failure to re-examine decisions initially preferred by members, when new risks are identified. The third symptom is the tendency to believe unquestioningly in the inherent morality of their in-group, leading members to ignore ethical or moral consequences of decisions. The fourth symptom identified in groupthink is the tendency to stereotype outsiders, leading to the belief that their group really is the best and the consideration that others who are not of their group really don’t understand them or are so inferior that negotiating differences with them is unwarranted. The fifth symptom is the application of direct pressure to any individual who expresses doubts about any of the group’s shared illusions or who questions the validity of the group’s arguments. The sixth symptom of groupthink is self-censorship such that members keep silent about any misgivings they may have and even minimize the importance of their doubts to themselves. The seventh symptom is the illusion of unanimity, such that members are encouraged to “get with the program.” Finally, the eighth symptom of groupthink is the existence of “mindguards” such that members cultivate either intrinsic or extrinsic mechanisms that tend to protect the group from outside or contrary thoughts.

quoted from "Running Head: Power and Leadership - The Use and Abuse of Power in Leadership"

Everybody who has been in UBF will confirm that they clearly show all eight symptoms of groupthink.
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