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Douchebags, "Group Think", and What You Can Do About It

Here are ten tips for avoiding group think:

Groupthink is a phenomenon where a group of people make faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of "mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment."

Groupthink can result in irrational and dysfunctional decision making, as the group prioritizes unanimity over carefully considering all options. Here are some signs that groupthink may be present:

  1. Illusion of unanimity: The belief that everyone in the group agrees on a particular decision or course of action.

  2. Rationalizing warnings: The tendency to ignore or rationalize warnings or negative information related to the group's decision.

  3. Pressure to conform: Pressure on individuals within the group to conform to the prevailing views and to avoid expressing dissenting opinions.

  4. Stereotyping out-groups: Stereotyping of those outside the group, demonizing them as the enemy and treating them with suspicion.

  5. Self-censorship: Members avoid expressing their doubts or misgivings about the group's decision or direction.

  6. Collective rationalization: The development of collective rationalizations to support the group's decisions and dismiss any doubts.

  7. Mindguards: The appointment of members to protect the group and its decision from dissenting information or opinions.

By recognizing these signs and actively working to avoid groupthink, individuals can help to promote healthier and more effective decision making within their groups.

Here are ten tips for avoiding groupthink:

  1. Encourage diverse opinions: Encourage dissenting opinions and open discussions within the group to promote diversity of thought.

  2. Assign a devil's advocate: Assign a member of the group to play the role of a devil's advocate to question assumptions and bring up alternative viewpoints.

  3. Seek out outside perspectives: Consult individuals outside of the group for their opinions and input.

  4. Consider all options: Take time to consider all options and alternatives, rather than just the most popular ones.

  5. Encourage independent thinking: Encourage members to think and make decisions independently, rather than blindly following the group consensus.

  6. Avoid pressure to conform: Avoid creating an environment where members feel pressure to conform to group opinions and norms.

  7. Re-evaluate group decisions: Regularly re-evaluate group decisions to ensure that the group is still on track and that no important information has been overlooked.

  8. Avoid isolation: Avoid isolation from outside perspectives by staying informed and engaged with developments in related fields.

  9. Encourage open communication: Encourage open communication, and make sure that all members feel comfortable speaking their minds.

  10. Keep an open mind: Keep an open mind, and be willing to re-evaluate and change course if new information arises or if the group is not making progress.

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