Effect of Group Think & Group Polarization

A Communication process in a group requires involvement of an effective listener and the facilitator with the purpose to enable conflict resolution, developing consensus, accumulating feedback, and building an informative as well as relaxed environment. As per group, the communication forms the positive climate among the group members while developing an interpersonal comfort (Bender, 1996).

Groupthink is a process that initiates when the group is looking for a reasoned decision making through consensus override and careful analysis. It sometimes restricts the group members from any positive communication necessary for taking any realistic decision while evaluating any new options. And when the obedience or adherence towards the leader makes its way then this groupthink disable the communication medium and may result a violent behavior against an individual or opposition. As it’s an extreme way to avoid conflict, its limits the conversation capability of an individual and group as a whole and brings out extreme level of dysfunctional or destructive cohesiveness (Meyers, 2009).

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Group Polarization is some sort of shifting of group members in or after a group discussion, to views being preferred as a general direction from the ones they were advocating initially. The two main views behind this polarization are the social comparison and persuasive arguments. In case of social comparison, most of the group members even before the beginning of the discussion assume that they are better equipped than the others and are possessed with best possible idea while in case of persuasive arguments; members tend to strongly adopt their initial views while trying to convince themselves about its correctness. This polarizing tendency of the decision making groups has serious effect on decision making ability of the group as whole. Other effect of this polarization is the occurrence of inter-group conflicts. This conflict like situation makes its way when the groups begin to compete among themselves. This competiveness is because of several reasons like interdependency, limited resources, varying goals and timelines and several other perceptions related issues (Bender, 1996).

This polarization can occur in any of the possible group arrangements, the relationship factor within the group may make its presence and several relationships may rise in the group itself. The evolving of these relations actually raises the conflict like situation and as a whole group gets divided among several sub groups. The group in the end would get divided into subgroups with opposite or varying perspective leading to an unhealthy competition requiring some conflict resolution meeting in the middle (Bender, 1996).

            A group can be protected from any instances of groupthink and group polarization when following action plan is being observed:

  • The group mustn’t be made immune to any outside force and level of cohesiveness shouldn’t reach extreme level.
  • The group should be headed by an impartial leader.
  • Inter-group or intra-group competition should be minimized through identifying and emphasizing on common threat.
  • The concept of cooperative rewards should be propagated through rewarding each cooperating team.
  • Progress of the group should be periodically discussed with group representatives.
  • Inter-group and intra-group communication should be encouraged.


  1.  Bender, S. L. (1996). Dynamics of Group Polarization Available from: http://www.sharonbender.com/polarization.html
  2.  Meyers, D. (2009). The Power of situation: Group Influence Available from:  http://webspace.ship.edu/jacamp/chapter_8a.pdf

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Effect of Group Think & Group Polarization. (2016, Sep 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/effect-of-group-think-group-polarization/