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Groupthink Psychology: Behavioral Decision Making


The observation of social behavior can demonstrate how people can adjust to each other and even change some of the views or attitudes. This paper is aimed at discussing the cooperation of students who need to join their efforts in order to achieve certain goals. Such interactions are particularly interesting because they involve people who may have slightly different interests, values, and convictions.

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Under such circumstances, people should avoid such pitfalls as groupthink and social loafing that detrimentally influence the work of learners. Much attention should be paid to the responsibilities of people who play the role of leaders.

In particular, these individuals should lay stress on the need for openness and critical thinking. This precaution can be important for avoiding the problems that occur during the cooperation of learners. The analysis of this behavior can be helpful for understanding the concepts discussed during the course.

Description of the behavior

The cooperation of students involves several important activities. In particular, one should speak about the allocation of duties. In particular, people need to identify tasks that group members should do. Under such circumstances, team members need to determine what type of activities best fit their skills or learning styles. Secondly, they need to coordinate their actions to increase the effectiveness of their work.

This task is particularly relevant if a certain part of a group project cannot be completed before other tasks are done. Furthermore, one should speak about the way in which people can acquire leadership roles. Under such circumstances, the role of a leader is often played by a more extrovert and communicative student. As a rule, such individuals are better able to coordinate the activities of other team members.

More importantly, they can prompt other people to express their ideas about a group task. Later the positions of leadership can be negotiated, especially if there are students who are more knowledgeable about a particular question.

One should keep in mind that at the beginning, learners find it rather difficult to overcome their shyness. This behavior can be observed among people who tend to be introvert. These are some of the processes that have been observed during the cooperation of learners who may not be closely familiar with one another.

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There are several important problems that can be identified. Many people are not willing to express their disagreement with the opinions of the majority (Bénabou, 2013). Nevertheless, they can do it if they are communicating with people who are closely familiar to them. This phenomenon is known as groupthink, and it can be observed in different settings, including educational organizations (Bénabou, 2013). It should be noted that some people can be afraid of making mistakes in the presence of others (Won-Woo, 1990).

Sometimes, they prefer not to make suggestions that may seem too provocative or controversial. These individuals do not want to produce a negative impression on other people. They can be driven by anxiety, rather than the desire to bring improvements into teamwork (Won-Woo, 1990). Apart from that, some of them may decide to avoid conflict almost at any cost. In their opinion, conflict is very similar to hostility.

The main problem is that sometimes students can choose the wrong course of action and their cooperation becomes less productive. This is why it is necessary to take precautions against this problem. For instance, a group leader can discuss a particular question with other group members in private because people tend to be more open when they do not experience peer pressure. Learners should keep in mind that groupthink can affect their professional life in the future.

This is why this problem should not be overlooked. On the whole, students should keep in mind that disagreement and critique are vital for improved performance. Moreover, they should not be confused with hostility or animosity. This misconception can significantly diminish the productivity of students’ cooperation. Moreover, it can significantly decrease the educational value of their learning activities. This is one of the main risks that should be taken into account.

Much attention should be paid to the allocation of tasks. Sometimes, the contribution of different students cannot be effectively measured. Under some circumstances, some learners prefer to imitate their active participation (Schippers, 2014, p. 62). This behavior can be described as social loafing (Schippers, 2014). This behavior can often lead to decreased productivity and conflicts. It is necessary to identify the origins of this behavior.

In some cases, people tend to believe that their work will not be properly appreciated. One should also speak about such a problem as diffusion of responsibility. In other words, students may believe that someone else address a particular problem. This is one of the risks that can be identified. This is why it is important to focus on individual accountability.

Moreover, they can believe that the chosen activities are unproductive or irrelevant to the learning tasks. Again, group leaders should encourage other people to express disagreement if they think that something should be done in a different way. In this way, they can eliminate problems as soon as possible. These are the main aspects that can be identified.

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Overall, this discussion indicates that students should have a better idea about the challenges associated with group work. In some cases, educators need to explain how students can overcome the problems such as groupthink, social loafing, and diffusion or responsibility.

In this way, they can significantly increase the productivity of students’ work and avoid conflicts that originate from misunderstanding. Additionally, they should urge students to remember that disagreements can be a part of cooperation. This is one of the suggestions that can be made.


On the whole, this discussion indicates that socialization can produce several important effects on the behavior of an individual. In particular, they can become less critical of other people’s arguments or decisions, even when they understand their drawbacks or inconsistencies.

This issue is particularly relevant if one speaks about the cooperation of students. In many cases, they people are exposed to the negative effects of peer pressure and groupthink. Learners should be aware of these risks in order to make their work more productive. The awareness about these issues is important for the educational success of learners.

Reference List

Bénabou, R. (2013). Groupthink: Collective Delusions in Organizations and Markets. Review Of Economic Studies, 80(2), 429-462.

Schippers, M. (2014). Social Loafing Tendencies and Team Performance: The Compensating Effect of Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. Academy Of Management Learning & Education, 13(1), 62-81.

Won-Woo, P. (1990). A Review of Research on Groupthink. Journal Of Behavioral Decision Making, 3(4), 229-245.

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