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SOC 200 Groupthink Analytical Review

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Sociology

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Soc. 200
Groupthink
Groupthink is a situation that happens when a group of people makes a decision without
contemplating the consequences of an action or engaging in critical thinking. The primary drive
for groupthink is the desire for conformity or harmony, which limits dissent among the group
members. The situation affects large organizations such as Google and Facebook due to cases
that demonstrate groupthink actions among the staff members. (Krahulic & Walters, 2017). A
significant case of groupthink entails Google firing James Damore due to a memo on gender
differences.
James Damore, a Google engineer, wrote a memo that explained the biological
differences behind gender stereotypes in the tech industry. The memo inclined towards showing
that men have a stronger biological advantage in the tech industry, a factor vehemently opposed
by Google due to its established culture and code of conduct on gender equality. Damore's memo
influenced Google's decision to fire him due to code violation, which is a characteristic of
groupthink. According to the article, "what is groupthink?" the main features of groupthink are
an "us versus them" perspective, suppression of opinions, and a cold-treatment of outsiders
(Psychology Today, 2020). These traits define Damore's case since the memo led to a firestorm
in the company directed towards Damore and work termination, which was a cold-treatment
(Bloomberg, 2017). Furthermore, Damore reported that many colleagues in Google believed that
the tech industry should be male-dominated but feared airing such views.
A significant groupthink trait is self-censoring. In robust workplace cultures such as
Google and Facebook, self-censoring develops into administrative censoring, a factor that leads

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to content censoring. Censoring content on social media sites such as Google and Facebook is
dangerous since it reduces public intelligence, enhances social gaps, promotes the spread of false
narratives, and limits freedom of expression. For instance, on Facebook, censoring content limits
freedom of expression due to omissions regarding stories such as Glenn Beck, CPAC, and Mitt
Romney that arise from news curators' cognitive bias. Furthermore, censoring content creates a
false narrative since it influences people to manipulate stories; for example, Facebook uses an
injection tool to boost stories deemed important by managers (Nunez, 2016). These factors
reduce the general public intelligence due to the portrayal of one-sided stories that limit creative
thinking.
From this perspective, information should flow freely on media sites since the activity
encourages self-subversion and the recognition of flaws in thinking habits. For instance,
Hirschman's writing probed liberals to recognize groupthink habits in both conservatism and
liberal thinking. According to the article "the dangers of groupthink," the piece states that the
more robust an in-group's loyalty, the stronger the groupthink, a situation evident in political
matters. The article accurately reflects on situations in everyday life (Bute, 2015). For instance,
in Trump's 2017 rally, Sylvia Allen, the Arizona state senator, praised Trump for being "anti-
PC," "anti-left," and "anti-stupid" (Holliday, 2019). Furthermore, groupthink is evident in the
"Proud Liberals" Facebook page that displays hatred towards Republicans and praises towards
Steve Colbert and Obama.
In this regard, it is vital to prevent groupthink by maintaining the capacity to think freely.
Effective ways of retaining a free-thinking ability are acknowledging diversity by seeking advice
from outsiders and engaging in debates to encourage dissent among friends and work colleagues.

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Soc. 200 Groupthink Groupthink is a situation that happens when a group of people makes a decision without contemplating the consequences of an action or engaging in critical thinking. The primary drive for groupthink is the desire for conformity or harmony, which limits dissent among the group members. The situation affects large organizations such as Google and Facebook due to cases that demonstrate groupthink actions among the staff members. (Krahulic & Walters, 2017). A significant case of groupthink entails Google firing James Damore due to a memo on gender differences. James Damore, a Google engineer, wrote a memo that explained the biological differences behind gender stereotypes in the tech industry. The memo inclined towards showing that men have a stronger biological advantage in the tech industry, a factor vehemently opposed by Google due to its established culture and code of conduct on gender equality. Damore's memo influenced Google's decision to fire him due to code violation, which is a characteristic of groupthink. According to the article, "what is groupthink?" the main features of groupthink are an "us versus them" perspective, suppression of opinions, and a cold ...
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