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Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within groups of people. It is the mode of thinking that happens when the desire for harmony in a decision-making group overrides a realistic appraisal of alternatives. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints. Antecedent factors such as group cohesiveness, structural faults, and situational context play into the likelihood of whether or not groupthink will impact the decision-making process.
The primary socially negative cost of groupthink is the loss of individual creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking. As a social science model, groupthink has an extensive reach and influences literature in the fields of communication studies, political science, social psychology, management, organizational theory, and information technology.