When Groupthink Occurs Silence Is Viewed As Agreement

The Challenger case was the subject of a quantitative test based on Janis` esser and lindoerfer model, which found clear signs of positive precursors to group thinking in critical decisions regarding the launch of the shuttle. [36] The launch day was rushed for public reasons. NASA wanted to captivate America and attract attention. Having civil teacher Christa McAuliffe on board to broadcast a lesson live, and the possible mention of President Ronald Reagan in the State of the Union address were occasions that NASA considered crucial to the growing interest in its potential civilian space program. However, the timetable that NASA wanted to arrive was itself imposed. It seemed incredible to many that an organization with a successful management history had locked itself into a calendar that it had no chance of meeting. [37] Groups can also make decisions, including more extreme moral judgments than any member of the group that was initially supported. Unfortunately, when group thinking arises, group members cannot even question ethically questionable decisions and actions. Some say, for example, that the Bush administration`s decision to invade Iraq because there are no weapons of mass destruction is due to group thinking. According to Janis, decision groups are not necessarily for group thinking. He invented ways to prevent group thoughts:[10]:209-215 Janis argued that the resulting fiasco could have been avoided if the Kennedy administration had followed methods to prevent group thinking adopted during the Cuban crisis, which took place only a year later in October 1962. In this latest crisis, it is essentially the same political leaders who have been involved in decision-making, but this time they have learned from their past mistake of seriously underestimating their opponents. [9]:76 Despite the vagaries of interpreting the test of the group opponent model, there is little doubt that research in this area has revealed a number of reasons why groups may not make the optimal decisions.

The pressure to adapt to a seemingly popular group decision may come from a pluralistic ignorance, which is a false assumption of individuals that other members of the group are unanimous in their beliefs or knowledge. Similarly, the false singularity is the feeling that one is without support for the dissidents of the apparent position of the group. If group members are able to discuss their preferred choices, group polarization can foster confidence that the community`s decision is correct, even if all relevant information has not been taken into account. Finally, extreme group positions may indicate ethnocentrism, which reduces the consideration of alternative positions, especially those that would lead to relationships with a-group members. Specific errors in the group process, which are supposed to be due to group thinking, include incomplete review of decision alternatives, insufficient consideration of the adaptation of proposed measures to target group objectives, failure to assess negative risks associated with the transmission of proposed measures, lack of research and verification of available information, failure to re-examine previously rejected alternatives , backup contingency plans to develop. Researchers generally agree that these procedural flaws can reduce the quality of decisions (Baron 2005). However, empirical studies that directly test the impact of Janis`s pre-edive conditions on other components of the group antagonism model show the risks associated with the development of general sentences from narrative case studies.

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