Examples Of Groupthink

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Have you ever been part of a team that made a terrible decision? You may have been part of a groupthink event. Groupthink is a term coined by Psychologist Irving Janis. He determined cohesive groups try to maintain unanimity rather than utilize all data to make a good decision (Whyte, 2000). Some historic examples of groupthink are the attack on Pearl Harbor, Iranian hostage rescue attempt, and the Holocaust. The attack on Pearl Harbor may have been thwarted, or damage may have at least been minimalized, if groupthink was not present. Ambassador Grew sent a warning of the possibility of a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor to Washington D.C. in January 1941. Leadership dismissed this warning. Most believed that sabotage was the main threat to the island and no other options were considered. This also led to further dismissal of warnings on the day of the attack. Since sabotage was the focus of the group, all other inputs were ignored. **Need to add one or two sentences here from a resource/reference.** Operation Desert One is another example of devastating groupthink. The absence of a single commander and the direct pressure for solidarity within the group lead to the failed rescue attempt of the Iranian hostages in 1980. After months of diplomatic efforts, President Carter issued an order to rescue the hostages. Planning for the mission went…show more content…
What led to this collective thinking was the Nazi party’s feelings of moral superiority and the party’s desire (and power) to eliminate others who spoke out against their plan. The ability of the Nazis to isolate Germans and to idealize the ideology of the Nazi party via propaganda, contributed to extreme groupthink. While some most certainly disapproved in the final solution policy adopted, the pressure to conform and the fear of reprisal for not obeying authority, eventually led the general population to alter their beliefs against the Holocaust (Suedfeld,
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