The 8 Symptoms of Groupthink:

“When more of these symptoms are present, the likelihood is greater that group think has occurred, and therefore the probability is higher that any resulting decisions will be unsuccessful, possibility even catastrophic. “ –Irving Janis

1. Illusions of invulnerability: the group thinks it is invincible and can do no wrong
2. Belief in the inherent group morality: the unquestioned belief that the group is morally correct
3. Rationalization of group views: the group collectively discount or rationalizes warnings that might challenge the group’s notions
4. Stereotyping out out-groups: the views of the out-group are stereotyped as too evil, weak, or stupid
5. Self-censorship: members decide not to “roc the boat” so they keep their true feelings to themselves
6. Direct pressure on dissenters: pressure to conform placed on members who question the group, member is labeled as disloyal
7. Self-appointed “mind-guards”: a method used to shield/protect the group from contrary viewpoints, the mind-guard is a self-appointed group member
8. The shared illusion of unanimity: members falsely perceive that everyone agrees with everyone else; everyone might disagree, but everyone thinks that everyone else aggress

4 Key Preventative Strategies:

1. Establish an open climate
2. Avoid the isolation of the group
3. Assign the role of critical evaluator
4. Avoid being too directive