Worksheet: Groupthink

Assignment Overview

In history, you learned that some decisions made by leaders in a group situation were not always the right or morally correct decisions. Some examples include the atrocities of the Nazi’s, slavery, segregation, Watergate, cults and gangs, along with many others. How could such decisions have been made, especially within a group setting? While none of these decisions were acceptable or condoned, the concept of “Groupthink” helps us understand such mentality. This assignment will assist you in gaining insight into a “Groupthink” mentality.

In this assignment, you will describe a situation in which you were involved in a group decision-making process.

Assignment Details

Perform the following tasks:

  • Complete the reading assignment and the interactive lesson before attempting this assignment.
  • Review the table below and answer the questions on page 2.
Characteristics of Groupthink
Characteristics Description
Invulnerability Members feel they cannot fail.
Rationalization Members explain away warning signs and help each other rationalize their decision.
Lack of introspection Members do not examine the ethical implications of their decision because they believe that they cannot make immoral choices.
Stereotyping Members stereotype their enemies as weak, stupid, or unreasonable.
Pressure Members pressure each other not to question the prevailing opinion.
Lack of disagreement Members do not express opinions that differ from the group consensus.
Self-deception Members share in the illusion that they all agree with the decision.
Insularity Members prevent the group from hearing disruptive but potentially useful information from people who are outside the group.
  • Your responses (approximately 250 words) must have correct spelling and grammar.
  • Submit Week 9 Assignment via Blackboard by clicking on the “Week 9 Assignment” link.
  • Include the proper file naming convention:

Note: See the Written Assignment Rubricfor a review of writing expectations.


Gradable items in assignment Points
Describe participation in a group decision that was not effective. 10
Describe the result of the problem to be solved. 10
Describe characteristics of groupthink. 15
Assignment is free of spelling and grammar errors. 5
Total Points 40


Assignment Worksheet

Respond to the following prompts:

  1. Groupthink does not lead to good decisions. Describe a time when you participated in a group decision that was not effective. The situation can involve family, work, or a social group.

Your answer:




  1. Was the problem easily solved, difficult to solve, or not solved at all?

Your answer:




  1. What characteristics of groupthink were involved?

Your answer:






Janis, I. (1972). Victims of groupthink. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin

Janis, I. (1982). Groupthink (2nd ed.). Boston: Houghton-Mifflin


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