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Ocampo, Justin Philip

Topic: Groupthink

Intorduction Draft

Whenever groupthink is mentioned, Janis’ hypothesis (1972) prevails in most literature.


Moorhead et. al is commonly a literature that is presented as well to most beginning psychology
students in social psychology, simply because it outlines the conditions most likely to lead to
groupthink.
According to Janis (1972) and Moorhead & Neck (1991), there are 3 antecedent conditions
to be met: Cohesive Group, Leader Preference and Insulation from experts. They also cite some
symptoms, more attributed to the work of Janis which are: Invulnerability, Rationalization,
Morality, Stereotyped view of others, Pressure on Dissent, Self-Censorship, Illusion of Unanimity
and Mindguarding. In their paper on the space shuttle, they mention the inability to completely
have the 3 antecedent conditions.
In Moorhead & Neck (1991), they use the groupthink model to evaluate the events that
lead to the Space Shuttle Challenger and then provides a revised framework for such
phenomenon. The article employs a Retrospective and descriptive analysis of the events that lead
to the Fiasco than entailed the deaths of the people aboard the space shuttle challenger. Based
on initial interviews and detailed statements of the events, Moorhead et al argues that groupthink
was the main cause of the low probability of the successful outcome. However, the antecedent
conditions met by the situation did not follow what Janis would say present in similar situations,
thus introducing a revised framework.

Below is an illustration in the paper Beyond Fiasco by Aldag and Fuller


Aldag & Fuller (1993) provides the types of reviews of related literature, mainly: Case
Analyses (like the space shuttle), Laboratory Studies and Conceptual articles. These were done
in advancements of the literature as well as the research of this phenomenon. Aldag and Fuller
would be our group’s foundational reference as to related literature.
Flowers (1997) would test out the groupthink hypothesis in a laboratory setup which
found that groupthink may be more prevalent than what Janis had originally hypothesized.
Groupthink was found in closed (directive) leadership styles, regardless of the group dynamics,
so long as the leadership style was non-directive or open.

So far, research gaps would mainly point to time (meaning to be updated in 2000
onwards) and the different dynamics according to culture and make up of each groups.