Why Groupthink Happens
The term “groupthink” was first introduced in the November 1971 issue of Psychology Todayby psychologist Irving Janis. Janis had conducted extensive research on group decision-making under conditions of stress.
Since then, Janis and other researchers have found that in a situation that can be characterized as groupthink, individuals tend to refrain from expressing doubts and judgments or disagreeing with the consensus. In the interest of making a decision that furthers their group cause, members may also ignore ethical or moral consequences. While it is often invoked at the level of geopolitics or within business organizations, groupthink can also refer to subtler processes of social or ideological conformity, such as participating in bullying or rationalizing a poor decision being made by one’s friends.