|The "normal" behavior of humans is highly situational. These men are business owners and executives during the work week.|
"I work with a pick one* and they are not a thing like you say."
*Social Justice Warrior, Global Warming Alarmists, Muslim, Catholic, Conservative, Main Stream Media reporter, Evangelical Christian....
A piece that has been missing in the dialog, such as there is, between conservatives and liberals is that human behavior is VERY situational. The behaviors you see at work or in other social settings are not a good predictors of how they will behave in other settings. That is, most people are oblivious to the markers and consequences of Group Think.
Markers of Group Think
Type I: Overestimations of the group — its power and morality
Type II: Closed-mindedness
- Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking. Impeachment anybody?
- Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
Type III: Pressures toward uniformity
- Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions.
- Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.
- Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
- Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
- Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of "disloyalty"
- Mindguards— self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information. -Wikipedia
Consequences of Group Think
The consequence of Group Think is that a sixteen-year-old boy, naked except for magical symbols painted on his torso, will run into machine gun fire.
Group Think is a form of metaphysics. In metaphysics, magic fails because the user did not believe enough, that is, the victim is always blamed for failure. To doubt or challenge the group orthodoxy is to plant the seeds of failure. Therefore, the group trapped in Group Think must not have a Plan B or carry a 72 hour bag or make alliances with other groups.
Armor against Group Think
- Affirm that an optimal or near-optimal solution is more important than the illusion of perfect unanimity.
- Affirm that the decision making process is based on rationality rather than emotion. Don't dismiss data that supports a different course of action.
- Structure the decision making process so lower-status members are not intimidated. For example, have each member write down their preferred course of action and list the two main reasons why they prefer that action. Then report out lowest-status to highest to minimize ditto-heads.
- Hardwire additional decision points into the process to make adjustments as additional data becomes available. The act of programming those additional points into the process is to recognize that the group might not be infallible and that optimal solutions sometimes have curved paths.
- Include diversity around the table.