The Creator of Groupthink Janis Irving defined groupthink as, “A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive group, when the member’s strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.” 1972
Irving defined groupthink negatively. Basically saying that when a group’s priority becomes reaching a consensus then they compromise valuable alternatives and ideas to solve a problem.
However some subsequent research has shownpositive aspects of groupthink and how the sharing of ideas in an Ideal setting, improves discussion and problem solving with people building off of each others ideas and reacting to the conversation.
Those researchers also taught how to create this ideal setting so any group discussion could yield positive results. VERY NICE!!!
John Keltner 1957 believed that,“The ability to reason, to judge ideas, to sift out fact and opinion, to organize and to integrate ideas is critical to the [groupthink] process.”
So who uses this research? Small Group Communication Applied Communication Mass Communication Groupthink Political Communication AND… Organizational Communication
Yes everyone can and has used it. (Think back to the dreaded group project last semester.)
Speaking of that group project, how did you feel about it? Was it a positive or negative groupthink? Did the group discussion benefit everyone, or were there only a few people contributing? Could it have gone better?
These are all good questions and a lot of them depend on who you get grouped with, however in order for thinking in groups to be constructive, every member (including yourself) must contribute to the conversation. Most importantly….
KEEP AN OPEN MIND Then ideas can be shared and evaluated without bias, improving your groupthink.