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Why Groupthink Is Bad, College Guide

Why Groupthink Is Bad, College Guide

Normally, we like the people who are similar to us. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, at work, or anything the requires collaboration, people who are extremely similar might not have the best output.  

In this post, let’s talk about groupthink, and why we believe this isn’t a good thing.  

What Is Groupthink?  

It was 1972 when psychologist Irving Janis coined the term ‘groupthink’. This is when behavior norms are geared towards maintaining group cohesiveness. However, this might have negative effects such as limited ideas and lack of better judgment.  

What Are The Common Symptoms Of Groupthink  

You need to watch out for the signs of groupthink. That way, you can call the attention of the group and exert effort to diversify thoughts. Here are the symptoms for your reference.  

First, when people groupthink,  they encourage to take extreme measures even if there are risks involved. This is the illusion of invulnerability, and it encourages excessive optimism. In addition to this, all members do not consider the warning signs and will just keep it quiet.  

In some cases, the people from the group strongly believe in the rightness of their cause. And because of this, they intentionally discredit the ethical and moral consequences of your decision.  

Pressure among the group is also apparent. And others try to hide information so as to avoid further questions from other members.  

Making Bad Decision  

When you practice groupthink, it could certainly lead to bad decisions. People from the team will not even share their thoughts and even contradictory ideas just to be cohesive with other members. If this happens, the decision can be dangerous, most especially for businesses.

As early as now, you as a college student must understand that diversity is important. It’s not just about fighting what is right. It’s about getting the most fitting solutions to any type of problem.  

How Do You Fight Groupthink?  

When you are working with the same people for a long time, groupthink can be more apparent. It’s because you’ve already shared the same principles and beliefs. Now, how are you going to combat it? Here are a few things that you can do.  

Throw In Questions  

Whenever you are to meet as a group, make it a standard to ask everyone to send their questions about the project, plan, or idea. Let them write it down and discuss it during the meeting. If possible, mandate that they ask questions. That way, you can squeeze out different ideas. Sometimes, it just needs to have a bit of push to get the right questions from the members.  

Practice Anonymity  

In some cases, people are not comfortable sharing their thoughts because they fear of being ridiculed. At times, they have that feeling that when they question ideas, they will be left as an outcast. With that, the best solution is to practice anonymity.  

Say, for example, if you are going to ask the team members to share their thoughts, you can place a box prior your meeting. Everyone could drop their questions and even points for improvement.  

Have Someone Outside Of Your Team  

Another effective solution to fight off groupthink is to ask someone not from your team to join your meeting. Most likely, they have different values and beliefs. Plus, a fresh set of eyes will always do you good.  

To get the best results, you can give them an idea of what your project is all about days before. That way, they can already think and prepare the questions as soon as possible.  

Do Not Rush Decision  

Also, if you need to decide on huge matters, you should allot a significant amount of time to create the best proposal. You shouldn’t rush it because that could also encourage people to come up with a lousy decision. After all, they just want to finish everything.  

Have a good lead time, and allow each member to carefully study all the areas of your plan.  

How Can A College Student Use These Tips  

Perhaps you are wondering, why must you learn groupthink. Isn’t it too early?

You see, it’s a good practice that you avoid it as early as now. If you have a group report or project, challenging one’s ideas will always give you the best results. And that behavior can be used once you already earn your degree. 

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