GroupThink & GroupShift - Individual and Group Behavior

What is GroupThink & GroupShift?

We can find a big difference between group decision-making, discussion, group shift and groupthink. Group discussions and decision making should be encouraged in order to maintain a perfect group and avoiding groupshift and groupthink.

We will discuss about them in this section to get a better idea.

Groupthink

Everyone once in life time might end up by not speaking in a group, meeting, discussion. Why?

Shyness is the reason or a victim of groupthink. This happens when members fall in love for attempting to find the behavior for consensus changes the actions.

A person’s mental testing, efficiency, reality and judgment capability are severely damaged because of the group pressure.

Below are the symptoms of the groupthink −

  • Whatever they assume, group members will justify them. In order to reinforce their assumptions, they firmly oppose the evidences.
  • If any member questions or doubts the group views or decisions, others tend to put direct pressure on them.
  • Others who feel like avoiding deviation from group consensus or holding off their doubts, remain silent by decreasing the importance of their doubts.
  • If any member doesn’t open up then everyone treat them to be in favor of the discussion creating a picture of illusion unanimity. Silence is treated as a Yes.

Groupshift

There will be differences in the decisions of what an individual make and what a group takes. Sometimes, the decisions taken by group lacks confidence than the members decisions. Making shift is treated as a big risk to decision process.

In this case, members decisions will overemphasize the group decisions in some ways and is treated as other case of groupthink.

The discussion between the group members will result in the final group decision. The pre discussion norm occurs before discussion will decide the dominance of the group decision on risk and deliberation.

Groups final decision can free any of the member from taking responsibility. If at all any failure happens, the risk should be taken care because not every member is responsible for the situations.

Techniques to Eliminate Groupthink & Groupshift

Below are the four techniques used in eliminating groupshift and groupthink from a group. They come up with coordinated decision which is best at the end.

  • Brainstorming
  • Nominal group thinking
  • Didactic technique
  • Delphi technique

Brainstorming

This process involves a group containing six to ten members, having seated round a table, giving their ideas. The purpose of this is to generate ideas and not evaluating them.

There will be a unique or creative idea if more ideas are coming up. These were taken into a notebook or blackboard such that others can have a idea of what others said and might change/improvise them.

When the issue is more precise and defined simply then Brainstorming technique is more effective. A big issue is partitioned and each one is separately dealt at a time.

Nominal Group Thinking

Similar to Brainstorming but the approach is structured. Each member’s creativeness is motivated.

A group is formed just for purpose to have a name and they function on their own. They won’t discuss their problems with others and solve on their own.

All these ideas from the group are collected by group coordinator and written on a blackboard.

Now everyone in turns will discuss their ideas and motivate others to speak about their ideas and to suggest for any clarifications in improving them. Now, all the members are asked to rank the ideas of others by evaluation their drawbacks and merits.

The final solution to the issue is the idea with highest ranking.

Didactic Interaction

This is an excellent method when a situation demands but is only applicable in certain circumstances.

Yes or no are the output forms for any problem. Suppose, a decision to be made to expand or not to expand. Such decisions need a rigorous discussions and interrogations as a negative decision will lead to dangerous consequences.

We can see many disadvantages and also advantages for such situations. The total group is partitioned into two groups, one favoring go decision and other favoring no go decision.

The positive group will list out all pros and second will list out all cons for the problem solution.

After tiring discussions, the groups switch sides and try to find weaknesses in their own original standpoints. This interchange of ideas and understanding of various viewpoints results in mutual acceptance of the facts as they exist so that a solution can be put together around these facts and ultimately a final decision is reached.

Delphi Technique

This is similar to normal group technique but it takes in experts opinions who are unknown and physically far from each other.

This keeps the members aside from getting influenced by others. This technique sort out issues of not a specific situation.

Consider an example where this technique is used in knowing the impact of the events created during a war. Below are the techniques in Delphi technique -

  • A panel is created with experts and asked to give out their thoughts on the possible solutions.
  • Each of them will conclude and gets back with initial question.
  • All the results are centralized towards the coordinator and he sets a second questionnaire depending on first question answers.
  • Everyone in the team gets a document with the results attached with the second questins.
  • Then everyone is asked to check the results and answer to the second set of questins. This time, new solutions might trigger.
  • Unless a general agreement is obtained, the process repeats.

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Individual and Group Behavior Topics