Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Simon Taggar & Heather MacDonald
Groupthink is a term coined by Irving Janis in 1971 to describe a premature concurrence-seeking tendency that interferes with collective decision-making processes and leads to poor decisions. It is characterized by deterioration in group member mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgments that result from in-group pressures to seek consensus. It is what happens when the task demands on a decision-making group are overwhelmed by the social demands to reach consensus. When experiencing groupthink, members tend to make simplistic statements about the issues and more positive in-group references than those in nongroupthink cases. Groupthink theory has become an influential framework for understanding the origins of group decision-making fiascos and has been widely cited in a variety of disciplines including psychology, business, political science, and communication. The appeal of the concept is evidenced by the ease with which it can be applied to numerous group decisions and the potential for groupthink ...