Okay so let’s talk about how you think.
Are you an individual thinker
or are you a group thinker?
We’re going to broach a topic
of how groups made decisions.
and how it sometimes can
actually be inappropriate.
What is Group Polarization?
In this image that we have here, we have
a whole bunch people sitting around a table.
and we have a different color bubbles.
Now what does this most reflect is that
when you’re at the table with the whole
bunch of people and you’re discussing a topic
you’re going to have your own views.
each person around that table has their own views.
And generally if there’s one primary goal
or one primary view you’re either
sort of against that view or you’re for that view.
But what ends up happening is overtime in
that discussion will start to see a polarization.
So one of the views will become the more dominant view.
And so people kind of start shifting towards that side
So it gets more polarize and that ends up
changing the overall view of the table.
So it’s been defined as the tendency
for a group to make decisions
out of more extreme than
the initial views of its members.
and the entire group shifts
toward the more extreme views.
So let’s come up with the example.
Let’s say, this is a huge debate of what color pants
you’re going to wear to go write your MCAT exam.
and you’ve assembled a board of people
and one side is saying,
“Tarry, has to wear blue pants.”
And the other side is saying,
“No, he has to wear red pants 'cause red are
his lucky pants.” And this big debate happens.
Now some people might be on the red side,
some might be on the blue
by the end of that 3-hour discussion
the group has clearly established that’s
it’s going to have to be the blue pants.
But people that originally for the
blue pants are adamant of the blue pants
and those were for the red pants
before have now shifted towards the blue
and collectively as a group,
they’ve unanimously decide
that’s it’s going to have
to be blue pants, okay.
So it’s an odd example but
I think you kind of get the point.
But what I wanted to highlight
there is that in the beginning
you had differentiating views by
the end you have this extreme views
that everybody thinks that
it should be blue pants.
Now, why does this happen?
We’re going to look at two factors
that influence this Group Polarization.
The first is Informational influence.
So individuals become more convinced of their views
after hearing noble points to support their position.
So say for example, we’re talking about
a situation where we have a bunch of lawmakers.
And this is something significant on the table.
And they’re trying to decide whether
they should or shouldn’t instill this law.
And while sitting there some people
who are for the law might state their points.
And you might be on the same page
as them but when you hear their views,
you’re like that as completely “I didn’t think
of it like that, that does make even more sense now.”
And so you’re sort of adding more fuel to the fire.
and they become more, more convinced of their own views
after hearing this different points of
other people are bringing to the table
and support of their same view, okay.
Now another option is Normative influences.
This is the influence of others that lead us
to conform in order to be liked and accepted
and they end up taking a stronger stance.
So in English again here, we’re saying
is you want to go with the norms.
So your influence about what others are thinking.
So if everybody at the table is pretty
strongly against or for particular stance
you might say, "Well, maybe
I should probably just do the same
because that’s what everybody else is doing."
So now, you are not really
focusing your stance on information,
you’re focusing more on following
the rest of the group.
Now, group think is another term.
So this refers to the state of harmony within
a group which really leads to conformity.
It’s not always a good thing and results
in irrational dysfunctional decision-making.
So the analogy that we have is
“You don’t want to rock the boat.”
So if you’re at the table, and you actually
have your own personal views about something
but the bulk of the group
is thinking opposite to you.
Are you going to put up your hand
and it will against everybody else to say,
“Well wait a second, I don’t agree with that.
I really think that this how we should do this.”
You’re afraid that they’re will going to look
at you and judge you and disagree with you
and in turns into this big
debate. So instead you say,
“Well, I’m just not going to rock
the boat and I’ll just conform, okay.”
So that is really quite common
especially in larger groups
And think of yourself in a classroom,
and in a classroom of say four people.
You’re having a discussion and there's a debate around
let’s say criminalizing or decriminalizing marijuana.
And the bulk of the class is totally
for decriminalizing marijuana.
But you think that you should keep it illegal
but there's a class of 4 people, 3 or 4 you’re
against, are you going to say something
most likely you will but all of a sudden if that
classroom is an amphitheater with 200 students
and your one and the only one who thinks that
it should be continue to be an illegal substance,
are you going to say something
or you just going to say,
“Well I don’t want to rock the boat if everybody
is for it we'll leave it like that”,
that’s probably what’s going to happen.
This is an example of group think.
Now what are some indicator of group think.
One, the group is overly
optimistic of its capabilities.
So as a group to think – you know what
we’re totally making the right decision here.
When have they really valued
all the different options, maybe not.
And they become over confident or optimistic of
what they’re going to do an what their view is.
The second is they might actually
demonize the views of the oppositions.
We see this all the time in politics.
So one party believes that their stance on social
reform or on healthcare cost is completely accurate.
And all the other parties were against
or are going in a different opposition
of what they’re saying are idiots,
“Oh my God those guys don’t
know what they’re talking about.”
We see this all the time in
politics especially when they are
on the news having debates they
demonize the views of the opposition.
Another thing that happens is members may
actually filter of views of dissenting members.
So say there's a larger group and one person
in the group does actually vocalizes and say,
“Well, you know what, I don’t know about that.
Yeah, yeah that’s fine and will consider it.”
But do they actually consider it? Not always.
Sometimes when they’re actually asking
for feedback from a larger group
and its being brought to say an executive
table were that’s smaller group think
is trying to make a decision,
they’ll just conveniently kind of focus
out of their face out the views
of dissenting member and they’ll just
focus more on those who were aligning
of what they want the group to do.
And finally individuals censor their
own opinions and favor of consensus.
So they might have something
to say but because the group,
the larger think tank here is
agreeing on a certain motion
they’re going to just say “Yeah, let’s just
go at that that makes sense to me.”
When really when you uncover all the smoke
and mirrors they actually aren’t for that thought.
So collectively we can see how
a group can really influence
what the final decision are being made as opposed
to an individual making their own decisions.