PT54- Groupthink

MissLucky
Posts: 903
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:48 pm

PT54- Groupthink

Postby MissLucky » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:17 pm

This passage was weird to me. It seems like every type of group - from groups entirely lacking in cohesiveness, to groups low in cohesiveness, to groups high in cohesiveness, tend to agree with one another and not critically think or voice themselves. but the definition of a cohesive group as given in the first few lines of the passage is "one whose members generally agree with one another and support one another's judgments" - so then how are they any different in that regard to low-cohesion groups where members tend to do the same (but for different reasons). Also, given that they by definition generally agree with one another, how can high cohesion groups be said to "feel much freer to deviate from the majority" as the beginning of paragraph 2 says?

also....

#24: B was very tempting for me. I realize that a potential counter to (B) would say "well, hello, paragraph 3 is dedicated to outlining 'RECURRING patterns' in groupthink behavior, so obviously there are shared factors" - sure, there may be certain shared factors, but later in para. 3 (lines 52-58), the author states that cohesiveness is necessary for groupthink, but not sufficient: "so it is important to work toward identifying the additional factors that determine whether group cohesiveness will deteriorate into groupthink..." - doesn't that indicate that in each case, there are different additional factors that make a cohesive group transform into one characterized by groupthink syndrome?

or am i wrong because just because there are additional factors that determine whether group cohesiveness will trigger groupthink, does not mean that these factors have to be distinctly different for EACH case...a few cases could presumably share the same triggers??

#27: I thought the answer was (E), but I think that resulted from a very unsophisticated understanding of groupthink...I was equating groupthink mostly with the definition given in lines 38-39: "a deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment that results from in-group pressures." - especially the bolded parts definitely indicate that non-cohesive groups, where there is pressure to comply, could absolutely develop the symptoms of groupthink. So what's the problem with (E)? I feel like the author would acknowledge this.

or is this wrong because the symptoms of groupthink are more specifically those that are outlined in the 3rd paragraph like "excessive optimism, overestimation of the group's power and morality manifested in the ilusion of invulnerability, etc." - these symptoms the low-cohesion groups definitely don't share....although they can be said to share in certain circumstances the smyptoms of "unwarranted pressures toward uniformity, including self-censorship" (or is the presure toward conformity in the low-cohesion groups warranted? regardless, even if they did share SOME of these symptoms, they clearly do not share them ALL as stated in (E). --> but my question is, how do we know that paragraph 3 details all the symptoms, and that the definition at the end of paragraph 2 is not sufficient in judging whether a group displays groupthink qualities?

also, I immediately nixed the correct answer choice (B) just because the whole passage was dedicated to talking about highly cohesive groups OFTEN fall prey to groupthink...it just seems so weird that the one type of group that is ideal for something (examining all relevant options critically), usually and mostly is inclined to not do that at all. idk, i just got tripped up in all these nuances and seeming contradictions.

any help would be appreciated as always ! thank you

JJDancer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: PT54- Groupthink

Postby JJDancer » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:59 pm

I think the key is lines 17-31. More cohesive groups - their members don't censor out of fear but it can have pitfalls. One being that though they CAN feel *line 22) CAN feel freer to deviate..their desire for genuine concurrence often inclines them not to use this freedom. They don't hide their objections but rather think "if the majority likes it, then it must be fine" and don't scrutinize it [but if most people are doing that then no one is really pointing out flaws/calling people out on a bad idea - the "good decision making" breaks down]
Last edited by JJDancer on Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JJDancer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: PT54- Groupthink

Postby JJDancer » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:09 pm

#24: Researchers are mentioned in the last paragraph so I go there. But I read the last few lines of para 2 just so I can get an idea of how it is segueing into the researchers.
Para 2: one psych says members give benefit of doubt to their group and fall victim to groupthink - which is a deterioration of mental efficiency ... reality and moral judgement from ingroup pressures"
Para 3: analyses of major world fiascoes (diplomatic+military) - groupthink is RECURRING BEHAvIOR with SEVERAL factors: ..... Groupthink needs cohesiveness but cohesiveness is not SUFFICIENT to assume groupthink (this makes answer choice A wrong).
B: they never discuss any particular case and or how it is different from other cases. They lump diplomatic and military fiascoes together so although different factors can matter in different cases, "unique to each case" is extreme and not supported by passage.

You said: the author states that cohesiveness is necessary for groupthink, but not sufficient: "so it is important to work toward identifying the additional factors that determine whether group cohesiveness will deteriorate into groupthink..." - doesn't that indicate that in each case, there are different additional factors that make a cohesive group transform into one characterized by groupthink syndrome?
The author listed the additional factors earlier and is saying that factors (in addition to COHESIVENESS) determine whether groupthink will occur. Doesn't have to be unique to EACH case though

or am i wrong because just because there are additional factors that determine whether group cohesiveness will trigger groupthink, does not mean that these factors have to be distinctly different for EACH case...a few cases could presumably share the same triggers?? BINGO!

JJDancer
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: PT54- Groupthink

Postby JJDancer » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:23 pm

#27: I could be wrong on this but I think you can use lines 52-54 to eliminate answer choice E.
I say I could be wrong because I'm not clear on whether "all the symptoms of groupthink" = "groupthink"
I thought it did so
GT --> C
-C --> -GT

(if groupthink - then need cohesiveness) but cohesive not SUFFICIENT
contrapositive: not cohesive, then not groupthink.

Why B is correct: (beginning of passage) Lines 1-5 (cohesive better at decision making)
and just the sense I got from paras 1 and 2. although 2 talks about pitfalls and how cohesive groups OFTEN don't use their strong foundation to freely express opinions and scrutinize arguments...the noncohesive ones have a harder time doing this because they argee out of fear of recrimination (line 7)

B diagrammed:
-HC --> DEOC
- diff to examine options critically --> highly cohesive

MissLucky
Posts: 903
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:48 pm

Re: PT54- Groupthink

Postby MissLucky » Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:17 pm

thank you jjdancer! you're always so helpful :)




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