Critical Thinking – Groupthink

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Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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This essay explores the concept of critical thinking, its importance in various aspects of life, and how it can be developed and applied. It will discuss the key components of critical thinking, including analysis, evaluation, and problem-solving. The piece will provide practical examples and strategies for enhancing critical thinking skills in educational, professional, and personal contexts. The aim is to underscore the value of critical thinking as a fundamental skill for navigating complex information and making informed decisions. Moreover, at PapersOwl, there are additional free essay samples connected to Cognition.

Category: Cognition
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Pages:  2
Words:  489
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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 need for group agreement overrules people’s common sense desire to propose options, evaluate a position, or convey an unwelcoming point of view (Mindtool, 2013). Groupthink is more likely to occur in remote groups, predominantly in groups with no clear guidelines for decision-making and in groups where all the people involved have similar backgrounds.

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It is ruinous to effective thinking (YourDictionary, 2000-2013).

In 1973, Yale psychologist Irving Janis began investigating the theory of Groupthink by studying the series of occurrences involved in the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, where the U.S. educated and supplied soldiers tried to overthrow Fidel Castro’s Cuban government (Dattner, 2011). Kennedy wanted to dispose of Castro and his subordinates were aware of this. This indicated that as a group, they were not acting and thinking as clearly 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). Kennedy’s involvement in the decision making led his subordinates to devise a plan to appease him, rather than one that made the most thoughtful sense (Dattner, 2011).

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

In 1999, the Major League Baseball Association experienced a mass resignation in an unsuccessful endeavor to secure a powerful negotiating position (X204 Project, 2011). The umpires overestimated the influence they held over the baseball league and the collective power of their group (X204 Project, 2011). Self-censorship was prevalent; several umpires who disagreed with the decision to resign failed to voice their objections (X204 Project, 2011). The plan was unsuccessful, Major League Baseball accepted their resignations, 22 umpires lost their jobs and were ultimately replaced.

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