How to Respond to Groupthink in the Church

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Groupthink refers to the increase of conformity within a group that leads to the acceptance of the prevailing viewpoint without critical consideration. For example, nine months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, a military report concluded that a dawn attack by Japanese airplanes could achieve complete surprise. But, senior levels of American command didn’t believe that it was feasible because they believed the Japanese would never take such a chance. Many of the false assumptions resulted from the American military’s decision-making group falling prey to groupthink, which resulted in a failure to respond to clear warnings. The failure led to the American involvement in World War II.


Originally published as:

Babyak, A. T. (2013). How to respond to groupthink in the church. Church Executive Magazine, 6(12), 25.