America: Land of the free, home of Groupthink?

Group-think.

You may not know the term very well, but you are probably quite familiar with what it is. Group-think has long been associated with past events like the Nazi regime, the Challenger explosion, as well as the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In each of these instances, people have come forward after the fact and stated that at the time when some major decisions were being made, instead of saying they didn’t agree, they chose to “go along with” ideas or decisions that cost many people their lives. Things that could have possibly been avoided had someone stood up against the “group.”

Have you ever done something because numerous people you trusted suggested it, even if you didn’t do research on your own or really think about the consequences? Did you vote straight Republican or Democrat without examining the candidates voting record or beliefs? Perhaps you really didn’t even want to do something, but you went along with an idea of a group because you felt pressure to conform? That in a nutshell is group-think; conforming to the ideas and decisions of a group because of fear. While we all do these things in day to day life like choosing a restaurant or buying a brand of toothpaste, these instances are not going to cause you many issues. In large settings or when you help contribute to the making of a powerful decision, it can be a dangerous place to be in.

Group-think still happens in major ways today. We will see it in many forms come November. Even now the fear of being judged or treated poorly for simply not voting is a whole new wave of group-think. I have seen people who will vote simply because they are told they aren’t American if they don’t, while not even knowing the candidates’ names on the ballot.

By understanding the dangers of group-think, we begin holding ourselves accountable to our actions, diving into fear, and standing up for something that is right or we believe in, (especially when we are not in the majority.) While we know this is not an easy task, we are seeing people stand up all over the US today and make it known that fear will not stop them. From the Rosa Parks to the #metoo movement, standing up for what is right will always be the what makes America, the home of the BRAVE country it has always stood out to be.

 
-Christina Jones – Business and Communications Student – IUPUC

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