What is group think?

Self-deception operates both at the level of individual mind, and in the collective awareness of the group. To belong to a group of any sort, the tacit price of membership is to agree not to notice one's own feelings of uneasiness and misgiving, and certainly not to question anything that challenges the group's way of doing things.

From here on we will consider how it is that such self-deceptions can come to be shared. To make this transition requires only that we allow the possibility that people can somehow synchronize their schemas to some degree - that is, come to share a common understanding of how to construe events.

My belief is that people in groups by and large come to share a vast number of schemas, most of which are communicated without being spoken of directly.

A group is extraordinarily credulous and open to influence, it has no critical faculty, and the improbable does not exist for it. It thinks in images, which call one another up by association... and whose agreement with reality is never checked by any reasonable agency. The feelings of a group are always very simple and very exaggerated, so that a group knows neither doubt nor uncertainty.

The group mind, then, is the leader's writ large. In the group mind "the individual gives up his ego ideal and substitutes for it the group ideals embodied in the leader."

Once the group adopts a belief or decision, individual members are likely to feel it must be right. After all, the members are such great people - how could they be wrong?

--Daniel Goleman

What is group think?

By escape into the mass, man loses his most intrinsic quality: responsibility. On the other hand, when he shoulders the tasks set him by society, man gains something - in that he adds to his responsibility. To escape into the mass is to disburden oneself of individual responsibility.

When it comes to evaluating people, collectivism leads us astray.

--Viktor E. Frank