10.24 Groupthink - Groupthink Overview n Common Assumption...

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Groupthink October 24, 2007
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Overview n Common Assumption : Two Heads are Better than One n Complex and important decision often made by groups (e.g. Economic, legal, military) n Today : Review research on the problems with group decision making. n What problems arise? n How are they resolved?
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Brief History of Bad Decisions n Pearl Harbor: n Advance warning of an attack: Military commanders received information about Japanese plans to attack Pearl Harbor. n Failed to send air reconnaissance which could have given warning. n Result: No alert was sounded until attack. Loss of 18 ships, 170 planes, 3700 lives.
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Another Bad Decision n The Bay of Pigs Invasion n 1961 Kennedy and advisors tried to overthrow Castro by supporting an invasion of Cuba with 1400 CIA trained Cuban exiles. n Believed that troops could retreat to mountains that were actually on the other side of the island. Troops actually deployed in a swamp and were immediately surrounded. n Created alliance between Cuba and USSR which gave rise to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
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Groupthink Defined n “The mode of thinking that persons engage in when concurrence- seeking becomes so dominant in a cohesive in-group that it tends to over-ride realistic appraisals of alternative courses of action.” Janis, 1971
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