What is Groupthink?

Groupthink occurs when a group values harmony and coherance over accurate analysis and critical evaluation. It causes individual members of the group to unquestioningly follow the word of the leader and it strongly discourages any disagreement with the concensus. 

Recent Posts on Groupthink

Lessons to be Learned from the Enron Scandal

What can we learn from Enron? A lot more than you'd think.

Subverting the Trap of Perfection This Mother's Day

Just in time for the Mother of all holidays, a book that applauds the imperfections of getting older. Finally.

The Pleasures of Riot

Indignation and frustration are often taken as their own justification. But are they?

Hearing Music in Baltimore

By Kimberly Sena Moore on April 29, 2015 in Your Musical Self
The response of the Boston Symphony Orchestra was more than just a "feel good" nicety. Here's why.

The Contradictions of Cliches

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on April 28, 2015 in The Prime of Life
What common clichés reveal about the popular psychology of our time.

How Big a Fan Are You?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Being a devoted fan often means developing a sense of "belonging" to a larger fan community. That sense of belonging is definitely going to shape the sense of identity that many fans have and it helps explain the enthusiasm you often see at fan conventions, music concerts, and sports arenas around the world.

10 Great Ways to Get to Know New People Without Awkwardness

Icebreakers are a traditional way to overcome the original awkwardness that many people feel when they first form a group. Whether it’s with a class, a set of co-workers, or a volunteer committee, a little psychology will go a long way toward building group cohesion and identity.

Humiliation, Recovery and Monica Lewinsky

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 27, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Public shaming, online harassment and cyber-bullying are ubiquitous but they were not always. This blog examines the heart wrenching plight of one woman and how she overcame humiliation to become a tour-de-force and an agent for public good.

Adolescence and the Dominating Friend

For many adolescents, after letting go the childhood dependence on parents, there is a need for a transitional dependence on an assertive and strongly defined same sex friend before feeling ready to rely more independently on themselves.

Strategies for Growing the Transhumanism Movement

Transhumanism—the international movement that aims to use science and technology to improve the human being—has been growing quickly in the last few years. But for the movement to grow more, better strategies will need to be implemented.

The Bystander Effect

By Rosemary K.M. Sword on February 27, 2015 in The Time Cure
We’d all like to think that when we see something bad happening that we’d step forward to render aid. But in reality most of us don’t. And although some people won’t take the initiative to help, they will take the time to photograph or videotape the event and post it on the internet. Why?

Corporate Succession

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on February 16, 2015 in Hidden Motives
There are a lot of ways to get it wrong

Brooks's Brothers

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in One Among Many
David Brooks outed himself as an admirer of religion. When religion rears its head, reason goes down the culvert. Take a look at what he said.

Why are There More Homo Sapiens than Neandertals These Days?

Neandertals were smart - but they now only exist in small amounts in our own DNA. What led to the large-scale success of Homo Sapiens relative to the Neandertals? The answer lies in the human (or Homo Sapien) tendency to create "ingroups" beyond kin lines. And such "ingroup" reasoning can help explain both the best and the worst of what it means to be human.

NO MORE: 7 Lessons from the Inside

By Mitch Abrams Psy.D. on February 01, 2015 in Sports Transgressions
With the long overdue awareness of dating and sexual violence finally being raised with No More public service announcements and greater media attention in general, this offers some recommendations to help prevention really hit its mark.

The Pleasures and Perils of Fighting Among Ourselves

The Pleasures and Perils of Fighting Among Ourselves. A polarized group becomes less effective as its members become more certain. By Susan Kolod, Ph.D

9 Tips to Help You Say No and Stick to It

For many people, having to deny someone else’s request becomes a difficult interpersonal problem. Being the naysayer in a group can also be harmful to your health, according to new research on conflict. These 9 tips will help you overcome these challenges.

Parental Adjustment to the Adolescent's "Family" of Friends

As adolescents grow to independence, they grow an independent "family" of friends that can seem to compete with the importance of parents and biological family. Although parents can be less of a social priority during the teenage years, however, they remain an ongoing source of historical, current, and future love.

Is Zero Anger Optimal? Yes (with Footnotes).

By Steven Laurent on November 23, 2014 in Chill Pill
Many argue that a little anger is normal and appropriate. I argue the optimum amount, all things considered, is close to zero. There are some specific exceptional circumstances where anger may value add; but there are exceptions to these exceptions! And in any case they are too few and far between to outweigh the massive gains of a peaceful life.

Freethinkers, Reason, and Religion

By Michael W Austin on November 07, 2014 in Ethics for Everyone
This should not be the case: "As soon as someone tells me--straight-faced--they are a 'free thinker,' I can immediately guess what they think about almost everything."

The DNA of Healthy Conversations

By Judith E Glaser on September 26, 2014 in Conversational Intelligence
What activates inside of us when we are having conversations? Are they healthy or unhealthy? Research show us that healthy conversations open our brain and heart to appreciate others, while unhealthy conversations close down our brain and heart so we don't connect in healthy ways. What are your conversations activating?

Leader-as-Decision-Maker: Decisions Matter

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on September 22, 2014 in The Power of Prime
I’m often brought into a company to help them solve a problem. The problem might have to do with strategic planning, research and development, or entry into a new market. I’m no expert in any of these areas, but what I am pretty good at is helping companies understand and go through the best possible process for making decisions.

The Psychological Fault Lines of Decision Making in War

The hardest decision a political leader faces may be whether to send men and women into combat.

My Prediction: The ADHD Fad Is About to Fade

By Allen J Frances M.D. on April 23, 2014 in Saving Normal
The history of psychiatry is a history of fads that appear suddenly and recede just as suddenly. I predict that the 20 year fad of ADHD over-diagnosis and over-treatment has finally peaked and that fewer kids will be subjected to unnecessary and potentially harmful stimulant medication.

Find Your Own Way

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on April 21, 2014 in Your Wise Brain
To choose good goals we must balance the influences of the world and the murmurings of the heart. A shift in your life course could be tiny, but extending it forward over the rest of your life, knowing in your heart what is true for you, will make all the difference in the world.

A Very Important Lesson Women’s Studies Should Be Teaching

"Hmmm," the speaker said. "...Actually that's a good point. I never thought about it that way. I guess sexual objectification can go both ways, even if it is usually women who are objectified. Thanks."

Foolish Risk in Avalanche Country

By Stephen Greenspan Ph.D. on February 13, 2014 in Incompetence
Backcountry skiing in the spring involves a certain amount of danger from avalanches. Analysis of fatal avalanche incidents involving groups, can be usefully approached in terms of the author's four-factor model of "foolish action."

Talk About Your Strengths! It is Not Immodest (Part 1)

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on January 31, 2014 in What Matters Most?
As I ask people around the world to talk about their character strengths, it is not uncommon for me to hear people comment—“I can’t talk about my strengths. That would be immodest.” Another common response is—“we don’t do that in our culture.” These statements, while not completely untrue, are usually avoidance tactics.

Profiling Terrorist Leaders

By Deborah Schurman-Kauflin Ph.D. on October 31, 2013 in Disturbed
The common background factors of terror leaders

Summit Fever: Groupthink and The 2008 K2 Tragedy

By Jonathan Fader Ph.D. on October 30, 2013 in The New You
The Summit, a gripping film about the 2008 tragedy on the mountain K2, leaves us with a message about just how wrong a group mentality can go. The thrill of the climb inspires athletes to push beyond their limitations, sometimes even to a dangerous degree, especially with the company of other motivated climbers, thinning oxygen, and a shared mission: to reach the top.