Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences. src Wiki

The term was coined in 1952 by William Whyte, an American business writer who feared that corporate "groupthink" would suppress original thought and entrepreneurialism.

Nietzsche once said that Madness is the exception in individuals but the rule in groups.

In his book "Groupthink: Psychological studies of policy decisions & fiascoes" author Irving Janis cites an example of a disaster that struck a small mining town of Pitcher, Oklahoma in 1950. 

A few days before disaster struck the local mining engineer had warned the inhabitants to leave because the town had been accidentally undermined and might cave in at any moment. At a meeting of leading citizens, the members joked about the warning and laughed when someone arrived wearing a parachute. Within a few days this collective complacency cost some of these men and families their lives. 

This was a classic case of Groupthink where sane voices were drowned by the collective group.

Read the book


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