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Groupthink and Group Polarization

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1. Groupthink and group polarization are influences that often cause groups to reach different solutions to a problem than individuals. Explain each concept and discuss the conditions that are thought to lead to each. How might the presence of others and institutional groupthink impact helping those who are less fortunate?

2. Are you better off being an optimist (perhaps a Pollyanna) or is it better to be a realist (grounded in reality) as far as your health and well-being are concerned? Why?

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200 words of notes and references briefly offer insights into the influences of optimism, realism, groupthink and group polarization.

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Groupthink and group polarization are highly influential and often cause groups to reach different solutions to problems than individuals would likely formulate independently. In fact, groupthink often leads to faulty decisions when group pressures greatly hinder members' mental clarity, sense of reality, and even moral judgments. In the world of extremes, group polarization occurs when groups tend to select more extreme decisions in the direction of members' initial gut reactions or preferences. Major factors involved in group polarization are persuasive arguments and social comparisons.

The presence of others and institutional groupthink can impact helping those who are less ...

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