York St John University Symptoms of Groupthink Psychology Discussion Response
D1: (written by Shannon)
The experiment demonstrates that people tend to conform to the social position they are anticipated to participate in. For example, how a person would act in an environment or situation. I feel that the experiment should still be emphasized and explained more about the experiment to make sure that participants are well aware of the possible repercussions before participating in the experiment. In the Stanford prison experiment, participants were given informed consent, but I don’t think the researchers gave a clear description of what they are going to go through. For example, did prisoners know that they are going to be naked or punished? Did researchers make it clear to the participants of the possible emotional side effects of the experiment? I think Zimbardo might have not been aware of the emotional side effects that could affect the participants. Guards in the experiment took advantage of the power there given to them and were not properly trained. To be professional guards you have to be well trained to perform well. There we many problems in the experiment at first but they still continue for six days. My biggest concern is that prisoners could end yo with mental health problems and no one deserves to be treated this way.
The most important thing that we learned from the study is making peace with one another in a group. Many times we fight with other groups members and make up by helping each other to solve the problems they are facing. The article Robbers Cave Experiment: How group conflicts develop it states that “One of the reasons Sherif’s study is so famous is that it appeared to show how groups could be reconciled, how peace could flourish” (Dean, 2021). In this case, when groups have peace with each other they are more likely to avoid unwarranted conflicts. For example, peace could help to prevent violence in groups. Promoting peace is the best thing to have in a group to be more successful and happy. Having peace in a group can make a big difference by bringing back everyone together. I think everyone deserves peace in their workplace, sports, or when making group decisions.
Some symptoms of groupthink as it pertains to group behavior is the collective rationalization that happens when group members stigmatize warnings and tend to not question their presumptions. Another symptom is out of a group stereotype this occurs when group members build negative stereotypes of rivals out of the group. An example of groupthink would be when college group members tend to conform to norms set by their group of friends. The reason why I consider this situation as a groupthink is because when someone conforms to norms by their peers they are making others make their decision for them without realizing it. People tend to forget about their personal beliefs or opinions by giving in to other people. Also, following whatever their group member suggested or do they will conform to it. For example, sometimes it might be good or bad norms. But it’s always a person’s choice to make sure that they are conforming to the right norms and not making poor decisions for themselves by following “group thinking”. In case if was able to intervene in the group’s processes I would minimize or eliminate groupthink by evaluating my communication system, embracing both sides of an argument, allowing enough time for decision making, cultivating a sharing environment, and continuing to question by being open-minded. Also, people should always remember to examine information objectively. D2:(written by Brandon) The Stanford Prison Experiment was started to better understand the prison dynamics between the guards and the inmates. What psychologist and scientist have learned from the Stanford Prison experiment is that if an individual is put into a specific environment or circumstance, that individual can conform to the explicit role. In this experiment, some of the college students who were randomly selected to be the guards became brutal and dehumanizing. The guards had the authority and power over the college students who were the inmates. This experiment demonstrated how easily it is to abuse power when you are an individual in authority. Although it had not started as an unethical experiment it turned into one and the results were so extremely disturbing that the experiment had to end early. I do not believe that the results justify this experiment that basically dehumanized college students, there should have been more supervision over the mock prison. If a guard crossed the line, they should have been removed at the time and not been allowed to continue their aggressive behavior.
The most important thing we learned in the article Robbers Cave study was how established groups can be pitted against each other. In this experiment, they took 2 groups of 11-year-old boys and had them bond in each group. Then the two groups were put into competition against each other which caused conflicts between them. The study was to try and see if the two groups could bond together after the conflicts. Both groups had to work together to resolve an issue and they had bonded over that. The study showed that even though these two groups originally were separated, by giving them a task or item that they can agree on could unite them into one. But the article also mentions other endings to this experiment which suggests that the weaker groups may rebel. In society, if different groups can find one goal, then they can unite around it and have more strength.
The symptoms of groupthink occurs when there are some isolated members of the group who may start self-censoring and feel they will be rejected from the group if they speak out. They fear being shunned by the group if they voice their own opinion. Groupthink has the us versus them mentality and anyone who questions their thoughts are kicked out of the group. “This can prompt members to accept group perspectives, even when those perspectives don’t necessarily align with their personal views. Groupthink may also occur in situations in which decision-making is rushed—in some cases, with destructive outcomes” (Psychology Today, 2021). A situation that demonstrates this type of behavior was when I was in elementary school, many students distrusted people who wore turbans because of the 911 attack and the terrorist. One of my closest friends in 3rd grade wore a turban and many students treated him poorly. Many times, I did intervene when he was being bullied in the hallways. I think to minimize groupthink, we must educate people about what they fear so they can better understand it.