Re: Group Think - Apathy is NOT a Factor
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2011 06:49:15 -0700 (PDT)
On 5 Jul 2011, at 9:10 AM, Joanie Connors wrote:

> Groupthink does not mean everyone is thinking alike. It means they are
> willing to appear to think the same as the majority.

Here is an earlier quote from Whyte:

William H. Whyte coined the term in 1952, in Fortune magazine:

Groupthink being a coinage — and, admittedly, a loaded one — a working 
definition is in order. We are not talking about mere instinctive conformity — 
it is, after all, a perennial failing of mankind. What we are talking about is 
a rationalized conformity — an open, articulate philosophy which holds that 
group values are not only expedient but right and good as well.[5]

The original one I posted from Janis:

Irving Janis led the initial research on the groupthink theory. His main 
principle of groupthink states:

The more amiability and esprit de corps there is among the members of a 
policy-making ingroup, the greater the danger that independent critical 
thinking will be replaced by groupthink, which is likely to result in 
irrational and dehumanizing actions against outgroups.[6]

The unforced nature of group think, is the one that I think is crucial to any 
group of people who have invested decades of their lives and probably most of 
the financial resources (income and outgo) on a concept like cohousing. It 
feels good, for example, to believe that cohousing is _the_ answer. No one 
needs to coerced by anyone in order to be a victim of group think. Group think 
is something we see in ourselves in hind sight but at the time, it just feels 
good, it feels right.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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