ch 08- groupthink

205 Instructors- there are several copies of a DVD on groupthink that does a good job of explaining the
concept and using it to analyze the decision making process that occurred for the launching of the space
shuttle challenger. It’s about 30 minutes long and involves a combination of instruction (interview with
a psychologist who explains the theory) and docu-drama style acting out of the challenger decision
making. I use this in class rather than lecturing on groupthink.
Make sure you encourage students to take notes: the movie has very clear places where it is
instructional and they should write things down. Don’t let them get into movie zone mode. Key
questions they should answer are:
1. What is the definition of groupthink?
2. What are the characteristics of groupthink?
3. How can groups combat groupthink?
I also debrief the movie afterwards by talking about how they could recognize if groupthink was
happening, what other kinds of groups can fall victim to groupthink, if they have any relevant
experiences, etc.