...better than yours!

What amazes (sometimes amuses) me about today’s society is the widespread acceptance of this notion of ‘group-think’ in almost every aspect of our lives. Whenever a bunch of people get together, they suspend their natural judgment in lieu of collective foolishness. It happens in Washington, Hollywood, Bollywood, Masjids, Churches, Mandirs, Student Unions, etc. We even see it manifested in the shape of Sunni vs Salafi vs Shia vs Sufi fights on message boards. People argue to protect their tribe instead of addressing the situation at hand.

Anywho… as I stand here scratching my tind (head) in confusion wondering how delusional is Bush when he speaks of saving the world by bombing it, a bunch of people (namely congress) are confirming his delusions by clapping like demented seals in unison. What Gives?

Why are people in today’s world incapable of thinking and voicing their personal opinion in a group setting? Is public schooling to blame? (I know some tangent, right?)

The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that "the Intelligence Community (IC) suffered from a collective presumption that Iraq had an active and growing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program. This "group think" dynamic led Intelligence Community analysts, collectors, and managers, to both interpret ambiguous evidence as conclusively indicative of a WMD program as well as ignore or minimize evidence that Iraq did not have active and expanding weapons of mass destruction programs. This presumption was so strong that formalized IC mechanisms established to challenge assumptions and group think were not utilized."
Groupthink wiki

The central tenet of Groupthink is, as groups seek conformity and unity they sacrifice everything in order to maintain peace within the group, causing poor decision-making.

Symptoms of Groupthink are divided into three types in which they can manifest themselves: Type I: Overestimations of the group's power and morality
Type II: Closed-mindedness
Type III: Pressure toward uniformity

Eight Main Symptoms of Group Think
1. Illusion of Invulnerability: Members ignore obvious danger, take extreme risk, and are overly optimistic.
2. Collective Rationalization: Members discredit and explain away warning contrary to group thinking.
3. Illusion of Morality: Members believe their decisions are morally correct, ignoring the ethical consequences of their decisions.
4. Excessive Stereotyping:The group constructs negative sterotypes of rivals outside the group.
5. Pressure for Conformity: Members pressure any in the group who express arguments against the group's stereotypes, illusions, or commitments, viewing such opposition as disloyalty.
6. Self-Censorship: Members withhold their dissenting views and counter-arguments.
7. Illusion of Unanimity: Members perceive falsely that everyone agrees with the group's decision; silence is seen as consent.
8. Mindguards: Some members appoint themselves to the role of protecting the group from adverse information that might threaten group complacency.

Janis, I. L. & Mann, L. (1977). Decision making: A psychological analysis of conflict, choice, and commitment. New York: Free Press.



Please inoculate yourself before it gets you: Groupthink Vaccine