Groupthink may be the culprit

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Here is one observation I have yet to see in the Wednesday Journal about the deplorable decision to return to brown energy that the Village Board of Trustees made.  How could these good people (the trustees) have turned around and arrived at such a terrible decision? 

The answer may lie in a psychological phenomenon, Groupthink. 

Shortly after the end of World War II, then President Truman commissioned a group of prominent Stanford University scholars to study and answer this question: How could a group of high-level German government leaders — brilliant, upstanding people — have made the demonic decision (among other demonic decisions) to exterminate all the Jews in Germany and in German-held nations in Europe?

Here is what the members of the Stanford think tank found:

When Groupthink is at play, a blinding cloud descends. No one in the group sees alternatives; no one takes individual, moral responsibility for the decision the group reaches. Occasionally there is one dissenter.  

I submit that this is one factor among others explaining the deplorable decision the village made to return to brown energy: Groupthink.  

Gloria Hannas

Oak Park Arms Retirement Community

Reader Comments

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OP Transplant  

Posted: May 7th, 2014 4:55 PM

Another writer in this paper compared the decision to the expulsion of all minorities from OP. The lady above likens the thinking behind it to the thinking that led to the extermination of the Jews. Do you people have any sense of proportion?

john murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: May 7th, 2014 4:42 PM

The core statement of the letter is at best weird! "When Groupthink is at play, a blinding cloud descends. No one in the group sees alternatives; no one takes individual, moral responsibility for the decision the group reaches. Occasionally there is one dissenter." The core statement of the letter

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