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Group-think

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Group Think

Group-think could be defined as the tendency of group members to yield to desire for unanimity or consensus at the expense of evaluating alternative options or courses of action. Irvine Janis (1982) characterized it as “illusion of invulnerability” (p. 24). In order to avoid group think in the challenger disaster, it would have been necessary to encourage team members to express their opinions. This would in turn result in improvement of mental efficiency, moral judgment and reality testing. Communication between management and engineers can be improved in future by avoiding irrational actions that result in dehumanizing other groups and by having clearly established rules to be followed when making decisions.

Cognitive dissonance is a term used to refer to a scenario that involves conflicting beliefs, attitudes or behaviors. According to Festinger‘s (1962) theory on cognitive dissonance, “human beings have inner drives to hold beliefs and attitudes in harmony” (p. 34). Feelings of discomfort in an individual result in attitude, behavior or belief alteration in order to reduce the discomfort and thereby restore a balance. As a result, group members end up changing their mind to reach a

false consensus especially following pressures of rationalization. A current example of group-think is in the decision by Obama administration to oust President Gadhafi of Libya from office not considering that this would destabilize the whole region and endanger lives of many Americans including U.S ambassador to the country.

false consensus especially following pressures of rationalization. A current example of group-think is in the decision by Obama administration to oust President Gadhafi of Libya from office not considering that this would destabilize the whole region and endanger lives of many Americans including U.S ambassador to the country.

 

Work Cited

Festinger, L. (1962). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.

Janis, I. (1982). Groupthink. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.