Group thinking: making bad decisions because of the group effect

pensamiento grupal

The thought grupal produces  when the people with a similar mentality inside a group finish for taking erroneous decisions by the fact to belong to said group. The taking of decision on a thematic sees  influenciada by the research of the unanimity inside the group, which surpasses a more realistic assessment or analysed of other alternative options. A thought grupal can arrive to desvirtuar the perception of the own reality.

How it forms  a psychological group?

According to this definition of thought grupal, form part of a psychological group can do us change of opinion in the profit of the general opinion of the group. But, how it arrives  to belong to a group?

The necessary and sufficient conditions so that a determinate community turn into a psychological group are three:

    1. That the components of this community define  like members of the group.
    2. That they share beliefs grupales.
    3. That it exist some degree of activity coordinated.

The first and third condition  subsumen in the second, since the belief grupal fundamental is “are a group”. They are beliefs grupales those convictions that the members of the group are conscious to share and that consider definitorias of his grupalidad.

The thought grupal

Under some circumstances, the group can convert also in a factor of resistance to the change, exerting then a deep impact on the corresponding behaviour of his individual members.

Few processes grupales illustrate better this point that the thought grupal, discovered and studied by the psychologist Irving Janis (1972, 77), that defines it like one some form to think that it arises when, inside a group cohesivo, the research of consensus becomes so acuciante that does to happen to a second plane the realistic evaluation of alternative lines of action.

Categories of processes grupales

The thought grupal can characterise like a complex syndrome, in which it fits to distinguish three big categories of processes grupales:

The first collects appearances directly related with the behaviour intergrupal and the real conflicts or perceived with other rival groups or, simply, distinct. The thought grupal characterises  by a perception exaggerated of the correction and rectitud moral of the approaches of the own group and a vision estereotipada, homogénea, excessively uniform and usually pejorative of the members of the another group.

The second includes a series of illusions shared by the members of the group in relation with the capacity of this to tackle the problems to which confronts :

  • The illusion of invulnerabilidad (the most dangerous): the members of the group share the beliefs that at all bad goes to sucederles while they remain joined.
  • The illusion of unanimity (complementary of the previous): the members of the group have a very exaggerated perception of the degree of agreement that exists between them.
  • The rationalisation (accompanies to the two previous) induces to jump  the analysis detained and accurate of the problems that affect to the group and to substitute it by a posteriori justifications of lines of action that undertake  no like result of the deliberation and the reflection, but like expression of the wishes and motivations, many times neither confessed neither admitted, of the majority of the members of the group.

The third includes the most coercive appearances, that exert also his paper in the establishment of the thought grupal:

The previous processes reinforce  with a strong pressure to the uniformity, that translates  in a frontal rejection of the criticisms directed by some members to the procedure followed to reach the decision grupal, or that carries to the direct suppression of the possibility that the members of the group express doubts or reservations on the form to act of the majority grupal. The autocensura works like an internal mechanism with a similar function.

Janis aims to the existence of a very peculiar figure of the thought grupal, the called guardians of the mind, members of the group that take to his charge the task to keep the orthodoxy grupal and report the possible deviations. They are the leaders that guide to a group with his followers that take decisions in function of east.

And you, think of way grupal?


Iván Pico

Director y creador de Psicólogo Colegiado G-5480 entre otras cosas. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales y Máster en Orientación Profesional. Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y Organizaciones. Posgrado en Psicología del Deporte entre otras cosas. Visita la sección "Sobre mí" para saber más. ¿Quieres una consulta personalizada? ¡Escríbeme!

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