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How to pronounce groupthink (audio)


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Dictionary definition of groupthink

A phenomenon in which a group of people make decisions or form opinions in a way that prioritizes consensus and harmony over critical thinking and independent judgment.
"The organization fell victim to groupthink, resulting in flawed decision-making processes."

Detailed meaning of groupthink

In groupthink, individuals within the group tend to conform to the prevailing ideas or beliefs of the majority, even if those ideas are flawed or irrational. Groupthink often occurs when the desire for unanimity and social cohesion overrides individual creativity and the willingness to challenge established norms. It can lead to a suppression of dissenting opinions, stifling diversity of thought and hindering the group's ability to make sound judgments or consider alternative perspectives. Groupthink can be particularly prevalent in highly cohesive groups, such as tightly knit teams, organizations, or political and social movements. The term "groupthink" highlights the potential dangers of unquestioned conformity and emphasizes the importance of fostering independent thinking and constructive dissent within groups to achieve better decision-making outcomes.

Example sentences containing groupthink

1. The team's groupthink prevented them from considering alternative strategies.
2. The company's culture of groupthink stifled innovation and creativity.
3. Groupthink often leads to a false sense of unanimity within a group.
4. The group's leader encouraged open discussion to prevent groupthink from clouding their judgment.
5. Groupthink can be detrimental to problem-solving and critical thinking.
6. The board's groupthink prevented them from identifying potential risks and challenges.

History and etymology of groupthink

The noun 'groupthink' is a term coined in the mid-20th century and is a combination of 'group' and 'think.' It was introduced by psychologist Irving Janis in his research on decision-making processes within groups. 'Groupthink' refers to a phenomenon in which a group of people, often in a cohesive or homogenous environment, makes decisions or forms opinions in a way that prioritizes consensus and harmony over critical thinking and independent judgment. The word 'groupthink' underscores the idea that in such situations, the desire for unanimity and conformity within the group can lead to faulty or irrational decision-making. While 'groupthink' may not have a long and complex historical etymology, it has become an important concept in psychology and social sciences, highlighting the potential pitfalls of collective decision-making processes.

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Further usage examples of groupthink

1. The team's decision was influenced by groupthink rather than a careful analysis of the facts.
2. The political party's groupthink alienated those with differing viewpoints.
3. The project suffered from groupthink, resulting in a lack of diverse perspectives.
4. The group's members were hesitant to voice dissent due to the fear of going against the groupthink.
5. Breaking free from groupthink requires fostering an environment that values independent thinking and constructive criticism.
6. Groupthink often stifles innovative ideas within organizations.
7. The team's groupthink led to a flawed project plan.
8. Avoiding groupthink is crucial for effective brainstorming.
9. Groupthink can hinder diversity of thought in meetings.
10. They succumbed to groupthink during the decision-making process.
11. Escaping the trap of groupthink requires open dialogue.
12. Groupthink can compromise the quality of decision outcomes.
13. The board's groupthink mentality led to costly mistakes.
14. Encouraging dissent can help prevent groupthink.
15. Groupthink can be detrimental in political decision-making.
16. Leaders must be vigilant against groupthink tendencies.
17. Recognizing groupthink is the first step to overcoming it.
18. The group's groupthink dynamics stifled creativity.
19. Groupthink can lead to complacency within teams.
20. Counteracting groupthink demands diverse perspectives.
21. Groupthink can undermine the value of individual input.
22. They made the decision under the influence of groupthink.
23. Avoiding groupthink fosters a culture of critical thinking.
24. Groupthink often occurs in tightly-knit communities.
25. Overcoming groupthink requires a commitment to dissent.



conformity, individuality, dissent, disagreement


Social Hierarchy and Relationships, High School 7, Thought and Mind

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