Worksheet: Groupthink

Assignment Overview

In history, you learned that some decisions made by leaders in a group situation were not always the right or morally correct decisions. Some examples include the atrocities of the Nazi’s, slavery, segregation, Watergate, cults and gangs, along with many others. How could such decisions have been made, especially within a group setting? While none of these decisions were acceptable or condoned, the concept of “Groupthink” helps us understand such mentality. This assignment will assist you in gaining insight into a “Groupthink” mentality.

In this assignment, you will describe a situation in which you were involved in a group decision-making process.

Assignment Details

Perform the following tasks:

· Complete the reading assignment and the interactive lesson before attempting this assignment.

· Review the table below and answer the questions below.

Characteristics of Groupthink
Characteristics Description
Invulnerability Members feel they cannot fail.
Rationalization Members explain away warning signs and help each other rationalize their decision.
Lack of introspection Members do not examine the ethical implications of their decision because they believe that they cannot make immoral choices.
Stereotyping Members stereotype their enemies as weak, stupid, or unreasonable.
Pressure Members pressure each other not to question the prevailing opinion.
Lack of disagreement Members do not express opinions that differ from the group consensus.
Self-deception Members share in the illusion that they all agree with the decision.
Insularity Members prevent the group from hearing disruptive but potentially useful information from people who are outside the group.

Note: See the Written Assignment Rubric for a review of writing expectations.

· Submit your response as the following:

1. three paragraphs – minimum of 250 words total

2. as a Word document with correct spelling and grammar.

3. APA format: double spaced, 12 point – Times New Roman font, 1” margins

· Submit Week 9 Assignment via Blackboard by clicking on the “Week 9 Assignment” link.

· Include the proper file naming convention: PSY101H_wk9_assn_jsmith_mmddyyyy.

Assignment Worksheet

Respond to the following prompts:

1. Groupthink does not lead to good decisions. Describe a time when you participated in a group decision that was not effective. The situation can involve family, work, or a social group.

2. How was the problem solved? Was it easily solved, difficult to solve, or not solved at all?

3. What characteristics of groupthink were involved and how did it effect the situation and solution?


Gradable items in assignment Points
Described participation in a group decision that was not effective. 15
Described the result of the problem to be solved. 20
Described characteristics of groupthink. 20
Mehanics: Word count, APA formatting, spelling & grammar 10
Total Points 65


Janis, I. (1972). Victims of groupthink. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin

Janis, I. (1982). Groupthink (2nd ed.). Boston: Houghton-Miffli