The Dangers of “GroupThink”
SOURCE: ACA News
By William Morgan, DC
The term “group think” was coined by the psychologist Irving Janis in his 1972 work, Victims of Group think: A Psychological Study of Foreign- Policy Decisions and Fiascoes. Group think describes what happens when individual thought cedes to the will of group consciousness. This may sound like a cross between an Orwellian novel and a bad zombie movie, but its prevalence in the world is common, and the dangers of group think are all too real, especially when it comes to decision-making in health care. Group think suppresses dissenting views and can lead to an over simplified view of problems and solutions.
Symptoms of Groupthink
Dr. Janis presented eight symptoms of group think:
- Group attitude of invulnerability. The group feels that it is “bulletproof,” so it takes unnecessary risks and is overly confident.
- Group rationalism—discrediting evidence that is contrary to the group beliefs.
- Group peer pressure inhibits the will to dissent. Members of the group are browbeaten into conformity of thought.
- Group belief of moral superiority.
- Stereotyping of outsiders in negative terms—such as “Oh, he is just a dumb straight.” Or, “Those medi-practors are so insecure in their ability to adjust.” (more…)