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Comm Theory

In: English and Literature

Submitted By akerk
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Recent Research Critiquing the Theory of Groupthink

Communication Theory, COMM 25902
Professor Ponder
April 13, 2010 Groupthink is a common method of deliberating used by members in a group in order to reduce conflict and promote unanimity. People are often unwilling to share conflicting viewpoints to a group of those who hold the same perspective on a subject. Irving Janis developed Groupthink while studying foreign policy decision-making. In doing so, he maintained that when group members share a common fate, there is great pressure towards conformity (Amidon, 2005). Following the initial theorization of Groupthink, researchers continued to study the patterns of those involved in-group discussion. According to Henningsen, Henningsen, Eden and Cruz (2006), despite the widespread acceptance of groupthink as a theory, it has never been fully backed by lab research. Researchers began examining inconsistencies between Janis’s model and the results found in a lab setting. In testing the theory in a lab, researchers hoped to provide an explanation for why lab tests produced different results than case studies for the same occurrence. In the past, researchers have tended to study limited components of the groupthink model, which includes antecedents, concurrence seeking, symptoms, decision-making defects and poor decision outcomes. Studies that examine this full model or large parts of it have produced a set of interesting findings concerning the symptoms of groupthink. Janis argues that concurrence seeking leads to increases in the symptoms of groupthink, which, in turn, produces decision-making effects. However, in lab research, studies found that symptoms of groupthink may better reflect two processes rather than the original one. They found symptoms reflect a “compliance process,” meaning individuals privately disagree with or doubt the...

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