Victims of Groupthink UP204

The theory of groupthink was first developed by the social psychologist Irving Janis in his classic 1972 study, Victims of Groupthink: A Psychological Study of Foreign-Policy Decisions and Fiascoes, which focused on the psychological mechanism behind foreign policy decisions such as the Pearl Harbor bombing, the Vietnam War, and the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Janis’s attempt to determine why groups consisting of highly intelligent individuals often made bad decisions renewed interest in the study of how group behaviors, biases, and pressures affect group decision-making. Groupthink has become a widely accepted theory particularly in the fields of social psychology, foreign policy analysis, organizational theory, group decision-making sciences, and management. As such, the notion was revived to help explain the interpretation of intelligence information regarding weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq War (2003–11).

Groupthink, mode of thinking in which individual members of small cohesive groups tend to accept a viewpoint or conclusion that represents a perceived group consensus, whether or not the group members believe it to be valid, correct, or optimal. Groupthink reduces the efficiency of collective problem solving within such groups.