Janis's Theory Of Groupthink

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Groupthink is a theory of social interaction involved with methods of group decision-making, originally developed by Irving Janis, a social psychologist, in 1972 (Communication Theory). Groupthink was initially described by Janis as the thought processes of people engaged in group decision-making with a deep desire to conform to ‘in-group members’ーrequiring extreme loyalty to group values and the exclusion of those deemed part of an ‘out-group’. In situations when groupthink occurs, the need for members of the group discussion to conform their ideas to those of the group overpowers the individual’s need to evaluate group choices critically, whether or not one fully agrees or supports an alternative answer (Psychology Today). There inlies danger…show more content…
Among these symptoms are “Illusions of Invulnerability”, “Collective Rationalization”, “Belief in Inherent Morality of the Group”, “Out”, “Direct Pressures on Dissenters”, “Self-Censorship”, “Illusions of Unanimity”, and “Self-Appointed Mindguards”. Whether or not group members are aware of this, each of these traits are displayed in any or all of those engaged in groupthink. Many examples of these symptoms are easily observed in political/ military decisionsーthe primary focus of Janis’ research. However, groupthink and its symptoms are apparent in any collective which pressures its members to think/ behave cohesively. A fantastic example of the potential for groupthink is present in the behaviors of teenage cliques, so for the purposes of further analyzing the eight qualities of groupthink, the 2004 film Mean Girls, directed by Mark Waters, is used as a…show more content…
“Illusions of Invulnerability” describes the potential for a group to become overconfident in their ability to make decisions leading to reckless choices, which have not been thought throughーbelieving that no matter what happens their decision will work out (Lunenburg). “Collective Rationalization” is another one of the traits Janis explained as an indication of groupthink, which occurs when, “group members collectively rationalize in order to discount warnings that might lead them to reconcile their assumptions before they commit themselves to their past policy decisions” (Lunenburg). The next symptom of groupthink nicknamed, “Belief in Inherent Morality of the Group”, explains collectives believe all members uphold similar morals/ rightness in decision-making, leaving decisions unchecked, as they are assumed to always be correct. This is similar to the Illusions of Invulnerability phenomenon due to the high level of trust in the groups ability to decide, and like in Collective Rationalization, allows the group to brush off the possibility of being wrong (Communication
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