Groupthink is a term that describes how a group of intelligent and capable people can make dysfunctional decisions and behave in irrational ways. Janis listed 8 symptoms that can be found in an organization affected by groupthink.

Symptoms associated with groupthink:

(1) illusions of invulnerability (and superiority)

(2) unquestioned belief in the morality of the group (and moral superiority)

(3) rationalizing away warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions

(4) negative stereotyping of opponents (as stupid, biased, evil, etc)

(5) self-censorship of ideas, with exclusion of contradictory views

(6) illusions of unanimity and conformity

(7) pressure to conform

(8) members who insulate the group from dissenting information ("mindguards")


Underlying issues:

(1) grandiosity

(2) denial

(3) pressure to conform

(4) all-or-nothing thinking

(5) closed group

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