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Key Difference – Group Polarization vs. Groupthink

Key Difference – Group Polarization vs. Groupthink

1. Choose a major controversy event within our current day 2017 – 2018 for example, the 2016 presidential elections; the current political divide within our country;  or another example of your choosing. Drawing upon your knowledge and research of group decision-making processes, discuss the following:

a.How might “groupthink” account for the real or alleged mistakes that were made? That is, what symptoms of groupthink appeared to be present? Look for evidence of such things as group polarization, conformity pressures, self-censoring, mindguards, etc.

b.How could groupthink have been prevented? That is, what are some changes that could have been done in the decision-making process that might have led to better results?

2. Choose a major controversy event from the last 25 – 50 years, for example, the Bay of Pigs Invasion during President Kennedy’s era; Pearl Harbor during President Roosevelt’s era; the Vietnam War during President Johnson’s era; or another example of your choosing.  Drawing upon your knowledge and research of group decision-making processes, discuss the following:

a.How might “groupthink” account for the real or alleged mistakes that were made? That is, what symptoms of groupthink appeared to be present? Look for evidence of such things as group polarization, conformity pressures, self-censoring, mindguards, etc.

b.How could groupthink have been prevented? That is, what are some changes that could have been done in the decision making process that might have led to better results?

Key Difference – Group Polarization vs. Groupthink

Group polarization and groupthink are two terms that come in social psychology between which some difference can be identified. Group polarization refers to a situation where the attitudes or decisions of people in the group come out much stronger than in actuality. On the other hand, Groupthink refers to a condition in which members of a group arrive at conclusions based on the pressure from the group as they put their opinions and beliefs aside. The key difference between the two is that, in group polarization, the emphasis is on enhancing an opinion within a group but, in groupthink, the emphasis is on group unanimity.

Textbook : How Do Groups Intensify Decisions? (Myers & Twenge, 2018, pgs. 181 – 194).


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