Re: Group Think - Wisdom of the Group
From: Norman Gauss (
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2011 08:59:27 -0700 (PDT)
There is a book out that focuses on Wisdom of the Group.  Does the group
have wisdom that individuals do not have?

Norm Gauss
Oak Creek Commons
Paso Robles, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: Sharon Villines [mailto:sharon [at]] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2011 6:49 AM
To: Cohousing-L
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Group Think - Apathy is NOT a Factor

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

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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