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Subject Social Psychology and Personality » Group Processes

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631202899.1996.x


“A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive ingroup, when members’ strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action” ( Janis, 1982 , p. 9; Janis & Mann, 1977 ). The presence of a directive leader strengthens concurrence-seeking behavior. Groupthink is a deficient group decision making process that has a high probability of producing poor decisions with disastrous consequences. The principal cause of groupthink is excessive group cohesiveness , but there are other antecedents that relate to: (1) basic structural faults in the group (i.e., insulation of the group, lack of a tradition of impartial leadership, lack of norms requiring proper decision-making procedures, and homogeneity of members’ social background and ideology); and (2) the immediate decision-making context (i.e., high stress from external threats, low hope of a better solution than that proposed by the leader, and low selfesteem induced by members’ perceptions of recent failures, moral dilemmas, and excessive decision-making difficulties). Together these factors encourage concurrence-seeking, and produce a set of eight symptoms of groupthink (i.e., illusion of invulnerability, collective efforts to rationalize, unquestioned belief in the group's inherent morality, stereotyped views of enemy leaders as weak or ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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