February 25, 2024


What the heck is going on in the collective human brain? 

Whatever it is, it has accelerated over the past four years, making me think long and hard about societal mental decline.

The psychological phenomenon of groupthink goes a long way to describing current conditions.

"Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Cohesiveness, or the desire for cohesiveness, in a group may produce a tendency among its members to agree at all costs."  

 - Wiki

We are social animals. Fitting in is an important survival instinct. But at what point does going with the group begin to reduce our chances of survival?

What are the symptoms of groupthink?

*Illusions of unanimity lead members to believe that everyone is in agreement and feels the same way. It is often much more difficult to speak out when it seems that everyone else in the group is on the same page.

*Unquestioned beliefs lead members to ignore possible moral problems and not consider the consequences of individual and group actions.

*Rationalizing prevents members from reconsidering their beliefs and causes them to ignore warning signs.

*Stereotyping leads members of the in-group to ignore or even demonize out-group members who may oppose or challenge the group's ideas. This causes members of the group to ignore important ideas or information.

*Self-censorship causes people who might have doubts to hide their fears or misgivings. Rather than sharing what they know, people remain quiet and assume that the group must know best.

*"Mindguards" act as self-appointed censors to hide problematic information from the group. Rather than sharing important information, they keep quiet or actively prevent sharing.

*Illusions of invulnerability lead members of the group to be overly optimistic and engage in risk-taking. When no one speaks out or voices an alternative opinion, it causes people to believe that the group must be right.

*Direct pressure to conform is often placed on members who pose questions, and those who question the group are often seen as disloyal or traitorous.


- Kendra Cherry

Doesn't that all sound creepily, accurately, and depressingly familiar?

Groupthink causes us to think, and therefore do, things we wouldn't ordinarily if we were thinking for ourselves.

It blinds us to the truth. It sidelines rational thinking, understanding, compassion and love all at the same time which makes it a powerfully destructive force.

I have always tried to resist groupthink, and be confident enough to stand up for who I am and what I believe in. 

It is possible for the group to be wrong, and in many cases, catastrophically wrong. Historically there's no lack of examples, including a few horrific cases that are ongoing right now.

I'm not buying into any of their self-serving manipulations by way of getting us all right where they want us - working for them, buying their stuff and their lies, and bending obsequiously to their will. 

Instead, I am dangerously flirting with an awakening by questioning everything (especially my own beliefs and knowledge), doing my own research, and thinking for myself.

From the system's perspective, people who dare to do this, seek the truth, are a threat. 

As someone trying to be a descent human being, I see it as my responsibility.

What do you think?

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