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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 - Group Processes (Part I)

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PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

Ch8Group ProcessesGroupthink Losing PerspectiveGroupthink Irving Janis A group decisionmaking style characterized by an excessive tendency among group members to seek concurrence occurs when the need for agreement takes priority over the motivation to obtain accurate info and make appropriate decision 3 characteristics contribute to groupthink1Since highly cohesive groups are more likely to reject members with deviant opinions they would be more likely to groupthink2Group structure is also important Groups that are composed of people from similar backgrounds isolated from other people directed by strong leader and lacking in systematic procedures for making and reviewing decisions should be particularly likely to fall prey to groupthink3Stressful situations can provoke groupthink Under stress urgency can overrule accuracy and the reassuring support of other group member becomes highly desirable Symptoms1Overestimation of the group2Closedmindedness3Increased pressure toward uniformityConsequence 1Defective decision making2High probability of a bad decision Research on groupthinkAgree with JanisDisagree with JanisEsser Mullen et al When multiple antecedents ofChoiKim Kramer Hart et al TetlockWhyte groupthink are evident simultaneously such as high Disagree about the specific conditions that make groups cohesiveness a strong and controlling leader and a great vulnerable to groupthinkdeal of stress groups are particularly vulnerable to the kinds of faulty decision making that Janis describedPreventing groupthink1To avoid isolation consult with outsiders2To reduce conformity pressure leaders should encourage criticism and not take a strong stand in the group discussions3To establish a strong norm of critical review separate the people into subgroups to discuss the problem one plays the devils advocate questions all decisions and ideas and establish a second meeting to reconsider the group decision before taking action4Insert the role of reminder in the group whos role is to remind everyone of the danger of groupthink5Computerbased technology can be used during meetings to help avoid groupthinkKray and Galinsky Research on counterfactual thinkingoProcedure Groups of students discuss and make decisions about a problem that was modeled after Challenger explode Details were changed so students wouldnt know what it was really about This time it is a car race in bad weather should they pull out or not Prior to the experiment the Ps were exposed to a different unrelated scenario which for some groups was designed so that the groups would easily imagine a desired counterfactual alternative outcome1
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