Janis, I. L. (1971). Groupthink. Psychology Today, 5, 43-46, 74-76.

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Groupthink refers to a set of dysfunctional decision processes used by some highly cohesive groups, leading them to ignore alternative courses of action and to irrationally discourage the expression of disconfirming opinions. Such groups engage in such processes because of their strong consensus seeking tendencies. Irvin used the 1971 article to introduce his theory and to illustrate it by analyzing retrospective accounts of historical events (such as The Bay of Pigs Invasion) that were labeled as political fiascoes and example of faulty group decision making.

Janis contributed to the literature on group decision making as he provided a theory that explains that consensus seeking might by sought by the in-group members' using more subtle mechanisms (the 7/8 symptoms of groupthink) than the use of power.



Additional Reading:

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

Whyte, G. (1989) "Groupthink Reconsidered," The Academy of Management Review, 14 (1), 40-56.



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