“When all think alike, then no one is thinking.”*
Groupthink occurs when a group’s pursuit of cohesion and conformity limits creativity and diversity, disrupts the group’s ability to solve problems and make decisions, and overpowers the morality of individuals within the group. The situation – rather than individual character traits – becomes the main driver for behaviour, with potentially dangerous consequences.
The term was first defined by psychologist, Irving Janis, in 1972 as:
“a mode of thinking people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members' striving for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action. Groupthink refers to a deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment that results from in-group pressures”.1