Critical Thinking – Groupthink

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Updated: Aug 17, 2022
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Category: Psychology
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“Groupthink” is a dynamic wherein members of a group see the world through a prejudiced, deficient lens, reach untimely conclusions, and form poor decisions (Dattner, 2011). It is an occurrence that transpires when the want of group’s agreement overrules people’s common sense desire to give options, evaluation a position, or convey an unwelcoming point of view (Mindtool, 2013). Groupthink is more likely to happen in remote groups, predominantly in groups with no understandable regulations for resolution making and in groups where all the people involved have alike backgrounds. It is ruinous to effectual thinking (YourDictionary, 2000-2013).

In 1973, Yale psychologist Irving Janis started investigating the theory of Groupthink by studding the series of occurrences tangled in the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, where the U.S. educated and supplied soldiers tried to dissolve Fidel Castro’s Cuban government (Dattner, 2011). Kennedy wanted to dispose Castro and his minions were aware of this. This signified that as a group they were not acting and thinking as brightly as they could have been. (Dattner, 2011). They jumped to conclusions and then moved forward without openness to new information and without considering changes in direction (Dattner, 2011). By Kennedy incorporating himself in the decision making generated his minions to think a scheme to satisfy him as opposed to one that made the most deliberated sense (Dattner, 2011).

Groupthink is thought to be the major cause for the Vietnam War. Judicious mentors in three consecutive administrations approved combat ploys entwined with untrue presumptions (X204 Project, 2011). Groupthink hindered opposed outlooks to the war from being communicated and eventually analyzed (X204 Project, 2011). The outcome of the Vietnam War resulted in 58,220 United States soldiers to perish (X204 Project, 2011).

In 1999, the Major League Baseball Association staged a large resignation in an unsuccessful endeavor to obtain a powerful negotiating attitude (X204 Project, 2011). The umpires overestimated the capacity that they had over the baseball league and the power of their group’s reconcile (X204 Project, 2011). There was the existence of self-censorship; some umpires who did not agree with the conclusion to leave failed to speak their disagreement (X204 Project, 2011). Unsuccessful plan, Major League Baseball agreed to receive their departures, 22 umpires were out of employment and ultimately replaced.

Groupthink was such an intriguing topic to learn about. In the three examples stated above it shows how groupthink can have destructive outcomes. In some instances, thousands of lost lives have been affiliated with it (X204 Project, 2011). In the words of Janis, “Groupthink refers to deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing and moral judgement that results from in-group pressures.” (Dattner, 2011). Groupthink can steer groups into forming the wrong choice so it is needed to be cautious of (EPM, 2011).


Dattner, Ben. 2011 April 20. Psychological Today. Preventing “Grouptink” Retrieved from
X204 Project. 2011 November 5. Real World Examples of Groupthink and the Consequences. Retrieved from
MindTools. 2013. Avoiding Groupthink. Retrieved from
EPM. 2011.Groupthink/Examples & Avoidance. Retrieved form

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Critical Thinking - Groupthink. (2022, Aug 17). Retrieved from