Counteracting Assyrian Herd Thinking

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Posted by andreas from ( on Saturday, November 30, 2002 at 3:50PM :

Counteracting Assyrian Herd Thinking

Only a few hints, the rest is up to you:



Groupthink is a concept that was identified by Irving Janis9 that refers to faulty decision-making in a group.
Groups experiencing groupthink do not consider all alternatives and they desire unanimity at the expense of quality decisions.


Groupthink occurs when groups are highly cohesive and when they are under considerable pressure to make a quality decision.

Negative outcomes

Some negative outcomes of groupthink include:
Examining few alternatives
Not being critical of each other's ideas
Not examining early alternatives
Not seeking expert opinion
Being highly selective in gathering information
Not having contingency plans


Some symptoms of groupthink are:
Having an illusion of invulnerability
Rationalizing poor decisions
Believing in the group's morality
Sharing stereotypes which guide the decision
Exercising direct pressure on others
Not expressing your true feelings
Maintaining an illusion of unanimity
Using mindguards to protect the group from negative information


Some solutions include:
Using a policy-forming group which reports to the larger group
Having leaders remain impartial
Using different policy groups for different tasks
Dividing into groups and then discuss differences
Discussing within sub-groups and then report back
Using outside experts
Using a Devil's advocate to question all the group's ideas
Holding a "second-chance meeting" to offer one last opportunity to choose another course of action

... to be expanded and adapted to special group conditions

-- andreas
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