Group polarization

Group polarization

Impact of Group Behavior. Group polarization can be defined as the process that can occur after group interaction, when an initial group attitude (e.g., “Our company is the best at providing Service B in this community”) becomes more extreme (e.g., “Our company is the best at providing Service B in this entire region”). Group polarization may be particularly likely when the issue at hand is deemed particularly “important” (Crisp & Turner, 2007, p. 169).

Groupthink is considered a more extreme version of group polarization and refers to decreased flexibility in group processing and can, in turn, lead to decreases in group productivity. This has never been more evident than in the space shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986, when Challenger exploded in mid-flight. In this case, evidence suggests that groupthink played a major role in this event.

For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources. Pay particular attention to the impact of groupthink and group polarization. In addition, using the Walden Library, research alternatives to groupthink and group polarization and select an article that discusses an alternative.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 2 a description of a situation in which you experienced or observed negative consequences resulting from groupthink or group polarization. Then describe two consequences as a result of groupthink or group polarization in your example. Finally, using an article from the current literature, explain how one alternative to groupthink or group polarization could have been used in that situation.

Optional Resources

  • Article: Arteberry, M. E., Cain, K. M., & Chopko, S. A.(2007). Collaborative problem solving in five-year old children: Evidence of social facilitation and social loafing. Educational Psychology, 27(5), 577–596.
    Retrieved from the Walden Librarydatabases.
  • Article: Wagstaff, G. F., Wheatcroft, J., Cole, J. C., Brunas-Wagstaff, J., Blackmore, V., & Pilkington, A. (2008). Some cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of social inhibition and facilitation. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 20(4), 828–846.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
  • Website: Social Psychology Network. (n.d.). Retrieved November 30, 2011, from

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Group polarization


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