Group thinking around us. Decision making in government, in the media and at work. It slowly kills the world.
Against the backdrop of the most important events, the reaction of Covid-19 and the growing tensions and conflicts in the world, it may be worth considering some of them in more detail.
I experienced group thinking while working in large organizations, especially at my last job. We were commissioned to investigate and solve complex problems. Some technical experience helped, but was not critical to the role.
Critical thinking and balancing of facts and different points of view were key.
However, the organization decided that it was no longer required, and changed the entire operating model to a single one, suitable for all types of call centers. This new high-risk approach was recommended to us by third-party Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) consultants who did not know about our business.
Those of us with experience in this role have argued that the model will not work. But the organization plowed independently. From the very first day it became obvious that financial indicators did not add up, that they tried to deny, and then hid.
The manager largely ignored our fears to begin, but then paid a limited speech when the wheels began to come off. In any case, in the end they offered us redundancy, hiring new university graduates in our place. As far as I know, the place is still in denial and moves down the pan.
Groupthink described as follows:
Group thinking is a term first used in 1972. social psychologist Irving L. Janis, which refers to a psychological phenomenon in which people tend to consensus in a group. In many cases, people put off their personal beliefs or accept the opinions of the rest of the group.
People who oppose decisions or the prevailing opinion of the group as a whole often remain silent, preferring to maintain peace rather than upset the uniformity of the crowd. ”
Group thinking is common where members of a group have similar experiences, especially when the group is stressed, which leads to irrational decision-making results.
Here are some basic behaviors to look out for:
Illusions of Invulnerability make group members overly optimistic and take risks.
Undeniable beliefs Encourage Church members to ignore possible moral issues and ignore the effects of individual and group actions.
rationalization discourages members from reviewing their beliefs and forces them to ignore warning signs.
stereotyping Encourages group members to ignore or even demonize members outside the group who may oppose or challenge the group’s ideas.
Self censorship makes people who can doubt hide their fears or concerns.
Mindguards act as self-proclaimed censors to hide problematic information from the group.
Illusions of Unanimity Lead members to the belief that everyone agrees and feels the same.
Direct pressure to match often put on members who ask questions, and those who ask questions to the group are often considered disloyal or traitors.
There are two more comments that I made in the workplace, especially for groups experiencing major changes or a crisis.
First, they tend to move from the status quo to the exact opposite. In our organization, we definitely needed some changes and adjustments, but we rushed to a model that was completely unsuitable and unstable in operational and financial terms.
Another thing I noticed is that our employers have become fans of control. They started talking to us and our customers like children. They introduced office slogans such as “let’s hack” or “we are all together” and distracted from the problems of a catastrophic reorganization aimed at “celebrating diversity” in the workplace. Critical thinking, creativity and expression were sucked out of place.
The obvious analogy for all these behaviors is the reaction to Covid-19, when government ministers collectively panicked to make extreme blocking decisionsusing only one preferred source of “expertise”.
At the same time, they pushed aside dissenting and independent experts who could offer a calm, rational perspective and a focused response to Covid-19.
Summing up these reflections and behavior, I recall these observations of Dr. Malcolm Kendrick and Lord Sampson about the reaction to Covid-19. Dr. Kendrick Here:
We recorded a population that had virtually no risk of getting any serious problems from this disease, and then spread it among a very vulnerable age group. If you had written a plan to make complete nonsense, you would have come up with this one. ”
And Lord Sumption records in Sunday mail:
The Prime Minister, who in practice makes most decisions, has a low political trick, but no government skills. He is not able to deeply study a complex problem. He thinks, as he says, in slogans.
These people have no idea what they are doing, because they cannot think of more than one thing at a time or look further than the end of their nose.
BBC – EXAMPLE
Large organization that has high opinion of his news serviceBut, of course, reality is the opposite. There are many examples of group thinking, but the BBC is as good as any other, especially when it comes to vile things.
BBC executives and some senior correspondents will no doubt know that they are conducting a politicized program of bias and misinformation on a large scale. Outsiders who have examined their reach also acknowledge this. But this will not be obvious to the vast majority of BBC employees, victims of group thinking.
This was found in some of Andrew Marr’s incredulous reactions to Noam Chomsky’s observations about the media during their interview:
Andrew Marr: How can you know that I am self-censorship?
Noam Chomsky: I am not saying that you are self-censorship. I’m sure you believe everything you say. But I say that if you believed something else, you would not be sitting where you are sitting.
I believe that the BBC covers international issues in this area. Real expertise and impartiality were completely absent from any reports I have seen in recent years.
First, although there is nothing unusual in this profession, most journalists working for the BBC have a degree. As a rule, when you look at today’s “best” BBC journalists, many attend elite universities that seek to create a culture of like-minded people with a similar past. This has been identified as one of the reasons for creating group thinking.
In addition, young journalists will be impressed in the BBC hierarchy with the views and ways of older housewives.
It is sometimes said that the BBC and other media outlets do not have specific rules defining that a journalist can and cannot report and write, and they, as a rule, are not misleading consciously. But they will almost instinctively learn self-censorship and act within the framework of a set of unwritten, unspoken rules and narratives in a straitjacket.
Another problem in covering international relations is that BBC and most others rarely visit military zones. As for Syria, they usually report from Lebanon or Turkey only occasionally entering the government or into a relatively safe terrorist or Kurdish region. Therefore, unlike previous conflicts, such as Bosnia, where I remember at least a small degree of balance, journalists rarely see what is actually happening.
Under pressure from deadlines, they rely on dubious sources such as Al qaeda terrorists and Bellingcat and predefined assumptions that fit comfortably with the anti-Assad narration of the BBC and the establishment.
Serious doubts have recently arisen. OPCW report on the Duma incidenthuge story that has wider implications.
Probable Robert Stewart Investigations previously organized incident involving a BBC journalistwith sweeping Both questions were ignored because the BBC has no opportunity or will to refute evidence contrary to their bias.
On the other hand, the BBC is more than happy to provide wider coverage of more charges against Russia and trump from anonymous sources, without providing any background or balance in the whole climate of related allegations that crashed or proved unproven.
And in recent days, the BBC has provided coverage on Hong Kong, which looks like it is scripted,
Well-known BBC journalists are silent about abuses. We saw it with Jimmy Savile scandal and decades of sexual abuse. This attitude is similar to what I experienced with my employer, who was very loud and proud of his policy of combating bullying and mental health. However, when employees were interviewed anonymously, intimidation rates were through the roof.
Other obvious signs of group thinking in the BBC, especially during the Covid-19 crisis, are dumbing down and his slogan-filled website, written as if their readers were idiots.
Another important topic is concern for race and diversity, American affairs, and the common little thing, to the detriment of more pressing issues, such as the long-term and wider impact of current global problems.
Covid-19 and our response to it are probably the most important event in our lives, but you can hardly hear whether the answer is necessary and proportionate. Instead, this absolutely rational point of view is only mentioned in the context of BBC articles on Covid 19 “conspiracy theory”,
Many of the examples I have described fit well with the behavior of group thinking and the experience that I came across in a large organization.
But I think that the biggest problem of group thinking is related to senior BBC journalists. Ultimately, their lazy arrogance affected the new journalists, and therefore, over time, all behavior returned to normal.
a few months later Hugh edwards made some comments allegations of bias against the BBC protecting the corporation and journalists. Here are some of his specific comments, which, in my opinion, showed a complete misunderstanding of the problems that people face.
The BBC does not, to put it mildly, work like some newspapers when the almighty owner and / or editor leave their mark on the tone and direction of coverage. […] BBC News is a rather disturbing mixture of clumsy, controversial and assertive people who (in my very many years of experience) are happy to either ignore the managers’ suggestions or simply tell them where to go. Here’s how it works.
Around the same time, I recall Edwards arguing Twitter on this topic and he said it would be ridiculous to say that the BBC journalists deliberately misled the public. His opponent on Twitter replied that this was not what he said, but simply stated that the BBC was a victim of group thinking. Edwards simply couldn’t get past this while continuing to attack and mislead BBC critics.
This defensive attitude and the stereotypes of critics are classic group thinking in which he, Nick Robinson and others attended.
I admired John simpson and in the 1980s he visited Iran after the revolution. He wrote a book about a visit that I liked. But in recent years, he has shown that he does not understand modern geopolitics and, like the BBC, can evaluate it only from the point of view of an ethnocentric British world view and our influence.
At this press conference of President Putin, he asked the funniest question you can imagine that confirms that he has lost the plot. His question was about the behavior of Russians in the world and whether Putin wants to create a new cold war.
Putin wiped the floor with him pointing to hundreds of NATO bases and numerous wars that put Simpson in their rightful place.
Jeremy Bowen this is another who has gone astray. I have seen Recent report from him from the perspective of a Christian militia fighting terrorists in Syria.
Once again, BBC insolence was in full displayIn his report, a general comparison was made of his meetings with the Serbs in Bosnia in the 1990s and these Syrian fighters, which clearly indicates that he does not listen and is not interested in the Syrian views on Western complicity and White Helmets.
In a regular group speech, he described the Syrian government as a “regime” and Al Qaeda as “rebels.” His report simply stamped BBC coverage of the entire conflict.
This arrogance is typical of journalists who rely on their past accomplishments to create an atmosphere of attraction to impress their audience. The reality is that his reports are based on some substantial, outdated and lazy assumptions.
The frenzy of John Sweeney
Ex-BBC now, John Sweeney’s arrogance rolls over. These days he spends time on Twitter attacking skepticslike Peter Hitchens, accusing him of “killing” readers of Sunday Mail with his views on the Cowid-19 block.
Sweeney got off the tram, but the reality is that he probably always was like this clip during his BBC show.
Such behavior, however extreme it may be, definitely suggests that group thinking played a big role somewhere in his career.
The illusion of sanity
Bbc dateline this is a panel discussion about current events that I sometimes watched. The group, which changed regularly, was apparently well prepared to work with foreign writers and journalists, among whom were experts on Russia or Arab affairs.
Sitting at this table, they impressed people who knew what they were talking about.
However, when you carefully listened to what they were saying, there were very few creatures. Their arguments are based on the simple premise that Russia / Syria is bad and the West is good, tempered by a little periodic criticism of Western politics to create the illusion of balance.
Sometimes you will have a more pro-Russian expert, but with the prevailing consensus of the rest of the group, his or her views will be ridiculed. It came to the point that any dissenting member of the commission began to self-censor, in order to seem more believable, perhaps to remain on the panel. This is a dilemma for any progressively minded BBC guest these days.
Peter Hitchens, who complains that the BBC never invites him, recently appeared on Good Morning in Britain (GMB). As usual in many GMB debates, the discussion on Covid-19 went down to cues and insults and just wasn’t a forum for Hitchens to bring his well-thought-out moments in the big picture.
But I don’t think he would be better on the BBC. The BBC creates the illusion of a civilized, rational discussion, but the reality is that there is no substance, depth or balance. The most important topics for discussion of Covid-19 or the conflict in the world are not being heard. The room and the rules are already laid in stone before the arrival of the guests.
There are many reasons why the world is in its current frenzy and on the verge of a serious conflict.
Group thinking in government, the media, and the general public is probably a key factor, as it represents a culture of thinking next to and below psychopaths and war criminals who pull the strings.
It is almost impossible to break this cycle, break away from it. But it is possible that a big event related to Covid-19, or a major war, will become a catalyst that can shock us because of our distorted view of reality.
Meanwhile, independent commentators and former MSM, such as Peter Hitchens, Anna Brice and Tarek Haddad, put their career on the line and remove their own interests. We can only encourage other BBC staff and other media to show courage and do the same.
Of course, the consequences will be much more catastrophic: to do nothing and not to say.
A sudden reappearance of a willingness to demonstrate on the streets, perhaps participants could better think about who and what is the real enemy.
Party politics, Brexit and Black Lives Matter really don’t matter.
Group thinking, escalation of world conflict, a matter of all lives, including Syrians, Libyans, Palestinians, and Negroes (including outside the US, UK, and Europe) along with the march after Covid-19 to an uncertain “new normal state,” issues that matter now