A Few Examples of Positive and Negative Groupthink
Groupthink is a term coined by Irving Janis in 1972. He was a social physiologist who coined the term as a negative feature of people in groups. According to him, group pressures lead to deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment. This is a result of a collective failure to see alternatives and seek for better solutions. It's a result of going for a dehumanized and irrational option.
Groupthink causes them to shut off the outside influence and work as per their own following and groupthink. Although the term was coined as a negative one, groupthink now has both positive and negative versions. Groupthink is essentially a psychological phenomenon wherein a group of people is looking for common harmony and desire. If the purpose is positive and the end result is positive, it is called a positive groupthink while if the outcome is negative, it becomes negative groupthink.
Examples of Negative Groupthink
World Wars were a result of group thinking of superiority over others. It started with some countries pushing for their authority and ended with almost every country being badly affected. After the First World War, the second one was an even bigger brain freeze. Nothing else could describe it better after knowing the consequences of the first one.
US war of Iraq was another act of show of superiority. It ended up making a whole country a morgue. And it didn’t even end there.
Religious extremists have been at the helm of creating not only social disharmony but also distrust among people of various faiths. There have been several examples of extremists of each religion who have spoiled the name of their religion and also made their followers share the same thinking. This has resulted in several huge tragedies in history, one of them could perhaps be dated to Germany, against the Jews.
Examples of Positive Groupthink
Brains Working Together
When groupthink is done properly, an organization rises quickly. This is because the common harmony and desire is to reason, plan, and move ahead and grow instead of something negative. The idea is to look for solutions and hence, all the brains work together and tap into each other for support.
True Stories of Grit
The movie Argo showed one such example of positive groupthink. In face of adversity, one person came and passed on his positivity to make the group work together. The people were rescued from very uncomfortable and almost impossible situations, and this was because of a form of positive groupthink. This movie is based on real life story.
The Solar Village
The solar village in Bihar is an example of a group of people thinking in harmony for a better future. The positive move towards change has brought on solar energy to a whole village in Bihar which is considered one of the backward states of India.
Groups hold an unimaginable power. The concept of groupthink can be taken into organizations to promote harmony and work on positive agendas for better growth.