Groupthink is a phenomenon in which a group of people makes decisions based on consensus rather than individual thinking or dissent. It occurs when group members prioritize harmony and agreement over critical thinking and independent analysis. Groupthink can lead to flawed decision-making, especially in situations where the consequences of the decision are significant.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Conformity, consensus, herd mentality, group mentality, mob mentality, peer pressure, unanimity


Independent thinking, individualism, nonconformity, dissent, disagreement, diversity of thought

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun groupthinks, groupthink
Verb None
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The company’s decision to invest all their money into a single project was a result of groupthink among the board members.

  • The team’s decision to go with the consensus rather than listening to the dissenting voice was an example of groupthink.

  • The political leaders’ unwillingness to consider alternative viewpoints led to a disastrous policy decision, the result of groupthink.

  • The students’ inclination to agree with their peers, rather than forming their own opinions, was a classic example of groupthink.


Groupthink can occur in any situation where people work or interact in groups, including in business, politics, education, and social settings. The term was first coined by social psychologist Irving Janis in the 1970s, who described it as a psychological phenomenon that leads to irrational decision-making.

There are no specific prefixes, suffixes, or variations of the word “groupthink” that are commonly used. However, the root “group” suggests that the phenomenon is related to the behavior of individuals within a group. It is important to note that while consensus and agreement can be positive aspects of group interaction, they can also lead to groupthink if they are prioritized over critical thinking and independent analysis.

One way to prevent groupthink is to encourage diversity of thought and dissenting viewpoints within a group. This can be achieved by promoting open discussion, listening to alternative opinions, and valuing independent thinking. Another way to avoid groupthink is to assign someone to the role of devil’s advocate, whose job is to challenge the group’s assumptions and biases. By recognizing the dangers of groupthink and taking steps to prevent it, groups can make better decisions and avoid potentially catastrophic mistakes.