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Groupthink and Risky Shift/Group Polarization

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Groupthink and Risky Shift/Group Polarization By Mr Daniel Hansson Observation Observe the group on the following behaviour: Leadership in group? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Groupthink and Risky Shift/Group Polarization


1
Groupthink and Risky Shift/Group Polarization
  • By Mr Daniel Hansson

2
Observation
  • Observe the group on the following behaviour
  • Leadership in group?
  • To what extent do group members agree in their
    decisions?
  • Any group polarization or conformity?
  • How could the group have improved the decision
    process?

3
Risky Shift/Group polarization
  • Risky shift The tendency for the group decision
    to involve greater risk than the average of the
    decisions made by individuals

4
Empirical support Risky Shift
  • Bray and Noble (1978), a highly authoritarian
    person sentencing a guilty defendant to a prison
    sentence who individually recommends 56 years (on
    average) recommends 68 years (on average)
    following deliberation in a group of highly
    authoritarian peers and the low authoritarian
    decreases the sentence from 38 years
    pre-deliberation to 29 years after deliberation
    with a group of like-minded peers.
  • Stoner (1961) found that in considering moral
    dilemmas, a group's decision will be
    significantly more risky than the mean decision
    of the members of the group prior to the group
    interaction. Stoner found that the individuals'
    decisions after leaving the group tended towards
    greater risk than earlier decisions

5
Evaluation Risky Shift
  • Subsequent research has lead to the conclusion
    that, rather than the group making riskier
    decisions all the time, the initial leanings of
    the individuals is accentuated by group
    discussion. For instance, if the only way out of
    a difficult situation is to do something risky,
    the effect of the group is to advocate greater
    risk. If, however, the current situation is
    satisfactory and action would be risky, the
    effect of the group is to advocate caution.

6
Group think (Janis 1982)
  • Group feels invulnerable and optimistic
  • The group comes to a decision without allowing
    members to express doubts about it
  • The group deny outside information that may
    undermine the decision
  • The group believes the decision is unanimous

7
Explanations of Groupthink
  • Occurs in cohesive groups with authoritarian
    leaders
  • Group members do not disagree out of fear of
    lowering group morale or fear of being rejected

8
Strengths of Groupthink model
  • Valuable insights of historical incidents
    (Challenger fiasco, invasion of Pig bay
  • Some empirical support (Janis and Tetlock
    historical case studies)
  • Research high in validity (Content analysis of
    records of real political decisions)

9
Weakness of groupthink theory
  • Limitations of research (generalisability
    problem, content analysis may be subjective)
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