Saturday, August 07, 2004

Groupthink Viewed as Culprit in Move to War

A Los Angeles Times article has a good analysis of an important phenomenon in this day and age, which infests a wide range of organizations:
"Groupthink," an insular style of policy-making, has been identified as a chief culprit in all. And to these, the Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday added the process leading to the decision to attack Saddam Hussein in March 2003.

Irving Janis, a Yale psychologist, coined the term in 1972 to describe a decision-making process in which officials are so wedded to the same assumptions and beliefs that they ignore, discount or even ridicule information to the contrary. When members of a cohesive, homogeneous group value unanimity and agreement on one course of action more than a realistic appraisal of alternatives, they are engaging in groupthink.

Applied psychology! I love it.

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