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Groupthink

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Irvin Janus defines it as: A mode of thinking that people engage ... the fall out was bigger, like Watergate, there would have been more dissenters afterward ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Groupthink


1
Groupthink
The Destruction of intellegence
2
What is Groupthink
  • Irvin Janus defines it as A mode of thinking
    that people engage in when they are deeply
    involved in a cohesive in-group, when the
    members' strivings for unanimity override their
    motivation to realistically appraise alternative
    courses of action
  • Origins
  • This term was coined by William H. Whyte in
    Fortune
  • Group think was is remincient of doublethink and
    duckspeak of George Orwells 1984

3
Symptoms of Groupthink
  • Conditions
  • High Stress
  • Little hope for a better alternative
  • High Group Cohesiveness
  • Persuasive strength of the group leader

4
Symptoms of Groupthink Cont'
  • Eight indicative Symptoms
  • Illusion of invariability
  • Unquestioned believe in groups morality
  • Collective Rationalization of decisions
  • Shared stereotypes of out-group, especially
    opponents
  • Self-censorship
  • Illusion of unanimity
  • Direct pressure for dissenters to conform
  • Self-appointed mind-guards, prevent neg. info.

5
Symptoms of Groupthink Cont'
  • Seven Symptoms of Affects
  • Incomplete survey of Alternatives
  • Incomplete survey of Objectives
  • Failure to examine risks of preferred choices
  • Failure to reevaluate rejected alternatives
  • Poor information search
  • Selective Bias
  • Failure to work out contingency plans

6
Prevention
  • Dissolve decision power
  • Appoint someone to disagree or Dissent Papers
  • Anonymity of suggestions
  • Preserves social capital
  • Have an inspector or outside role which
    individuals can appeal to
  • Consensus Decision Making
  • Group works in a less competitive situation to
    agree on terms

7
Son Tay Raid
  • US special ops raid of a North Vietnamese POW
    camp
  • Bright leadership
  • Brigadier General Leyor Simons and Colonel Arthur
    D. Bull Simons
  • Perfect execution / Stupid mistake

8
Son Tay Raid
  • Illusion of invulnerability
  • Everything is going to work out all right
    because we are a special group. - 95 to 97
    percent assurance of success
  • They placed an exact estimate of assured success
    without thinking of their alternate outcomes
  • Inherent mortality of the group
  • Were saving POWs how can it be bad
  • How could anyone not approve this? (President
    Nixon)

9
Son Tay Raid
  • Collective rationalization
  • General Blackburn, General Bennett and Admiral
    Moore meet to decide if it is a go
  • Blackburn was the sponsor and felt the mission
    was the only option, but had fears that Bennett
    or Moore would feel different
  • Despite recent intelligence they felt the same.

10
Son Tay Raid
  • Out-group stereotyping
  • Planners lamented the lack of HUMINT and over
    reliance on technical means
  • Yet they discarded all HUMINT that did not
    support a GO decision
  • Lucky Break assulting a secondary school
  • Self-censorship
  • Admiral Train admitted 12 hours before the raid
    they had almost indisputable evidence the campe
    was empty
  • A Four Star Flag Officer remained silent to be a
    team player

11
Son Tay Raid
  • Illusion of unanimity
  • By remain silent the group interpreted it as
    agreement
  • If the fall out was bigger, like Watergate, there
    would have been more dissenters afterward
  • Direct pressure on dissenters
  • After being told the camp was empty by DIA
    Intelligence agents General Blackburn scolded
    them How the hell can you make heads or tails
    out of the data
  • Shortly after they thought that the prisoners
    were moved back

12
Son Tay Raid
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