Critical Difference Between Groupthink and Collective Intelligence

Collective intelligence is defined as a group of individuals doing seemingly intelligent things, which involve the use of brain.

Groupthink is doing things in harmony as a group, without the use of intelligence and brain, but following the leader. The main difference between these two, thus, boils down to the use of intellect.

collective intelligence

  • While groupthink doesn’t believe in questioning, critical intelligence is all about questions and intellect to raise the knowledge levels of an entire group. It is also worth considering that groupthink has resulted in some of the worst decisions in the history of the world, while collective intelligence is a process used to enhance results for all the people.
  • Collective intelligence has often been referred to as the opposite of groupthink. Collective intelligence is also called as the wisdom of the crowds by some eminent writers and modern day philosophers.
  • When you compare at the base of them, both seem pretty similar. Both depend on harmony and collective decisions. But on one hand there are tragic results, including wars and religious extremism, and the other hand presents productivity and fulfilment in more ways than one.
  • That is the difference, of ignorance and knowledge, between the two. Various leadership gurus teach about collective intelligence as a way to tackle groupthink in companies. Groups get formed everywhere, especially where there are more things in common than one. How you use the power of collected brains is how the final results will be reflected.

Example of Collective Intelligence

groupthink examples

  • A popular example of collective intelligence can be stated to be in the success model of a political party without any political faces. It has been set up and run by commoners, it has been funded by people, it has been running on the ideas of common goals and better life, and its vision is to create politics as a no dirty politics zone.
  • There’s no single name for such a party, several people have started movements around the world and several parties have emerged which have made a dent in the universe. How does it all start? With an idea of one person that everyone believes in, then everyone chips in and a natural flow of project management takes place. Everyone uses their intellect, nobody is a real leader or head of the organization.

Example of Groupthink

collective intelligence example

  • The traditional politics is run in the opposite way, with being a ‘yes man’ as the primary goal of bottom party workers and their way to top positions. Only a handful people make decisions, while the rest are just nodding their heads, with or without understanding anything.
  • This is a general example of groupthink that has made several countries in the world suffer. The sooner an organization gets rid of groupthink, the better it is for the future of the organization.

Overall, it is much more important to use intellect and trust in acquiring knowledge. It is important to use your own brain instead of believing anything that someone else says.

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