Culture analysis: Additional on groupthink.

Uploaded by anubis2814 on 29.05.2012

I had an iranian post on my video that they have problems with groupthink but isn’t
that just human nature? Well, yes. America has a lot of group think, most are just in
denial. America and the west do not embrace it and consider it normal like Japan and other
nations do. Their great thinkers used Confucianism as their base while ours used the likes of
John Locke and Thomas Paine for our way of thinking.
Many of the great thinkers in the West like albert Einstein vilified conformity, groupthink
and lack of creativity as a horrible thing. However, just like with any bias, we can’t
escape it. Its going to happen. What we can do is train ourselves to use proper controls
to reduce and minimize the effects of the bias which is a never ending process. Its
a lot of work, which is why groupthink is so popular. I hate it when I see someone comment
on something I reposted telling me its either wrong, or asking me for other sources. Of
course they oftedn do it in the most condescending way too, which makes it worse. I can’t believe
you wouldn’t fact check better. It messed up my groupthink happiness because my ingroup
of intellectual memes and articles would never be wrong.
Groupthink makes us feel happy, and we are convinced we are an individual and think for
ourselves. Most of Americas at least heard from their great thinkers that groupthink
was evil. But to avoid it requires a certain level of work and education. So instead we
made our ideal selves be one that doesn’t follow groupthink, and since our memories
are rewritten every time they are accessed, we don’t even realize that we follow groupthink
which makes us certain we are such extreme individuals. When I was dating, so many dating
profiles I saw said things like “I’m unique” or “I tend to march to the beat of my own
drum”, “Think for myself” Or “I’m so against conformity”. Sadly the bias called
the bandwagon effect would probably disagree with you.
The bandwagon effect occurs when you change your ideas because of social pressure but
your brain remembers it as you deciding for yourself. Most of our changes are caused by
this, either from the majority, from books or movies. We may find the idea compelling
but we also find tone, lighting and perceived coolness often pushes you a bit more than
you would if ill presented. We can’t help it. Our emotions affect our beliefs as much
if not more depending on the person than our logic. To say you think for yourself is a
bit of a denial. Peer pressure always gets a bad rap. Its used
as a negative in the Us because so often it leads to negative habits or perceived negative
ideas. In addiction therapy however, it is well proven that a buddy system and a community
can really help in overcoming addictions. You look at each other as better because they
have this strength you don’t feel like you have. You feel inspired and look up to them
Turns out they are looking up to you the same way as there is a mutual feedback effect.
The great non-western thinkers saw this benefit and set up rules to help maintain it. The
great western thinkers saw the lock-step horrible effects of it and vilified it. Instead of
realizing that there is no way to escape groupthink and other biases without constant awareness
and scientific controls and methods, we just denied we were effected leading to some serious
issues. The high level of conspiracy theories, religious
extremes and anti-science comes from this. Science is a group consensus. Thinking for
yourself involves rejecting the group consensus even if that group consensus is set up to
prevent natural bias. What happened was akin to this scenario. You
are predisposed genetically to have a harder time losing weight. Science comes out and
says being overweight is bad. Science doesn’t go into the details of it or tell you how
not to be overweight. It also just seems like common sense as to how its a bad thing and
how to overcome it. So what you do mimic the perceived habits
of people you view as not overweight and while some have success because they perceived the
correct habits or stumbled on them accidentally most don’t get it and just live in denial
that they are overweight because they do all the things skinny people do. Then there are
those who don’t see anything positive about fat and go on the other extreme of anorexia.
At the time that people like Einstein were railing for more free thinking, vilifying
groupthink and other biases and more creativity, People like Richard Feinman were realizing
the power of psychological biases and began fighting for better experimental controls
across all of science. Science slowly pushed itself forward and now has the lowest chance
of bias of any human institution, its not perfect but it is self-correcting constantly
unlike most that stick with a dogma. In science even the core foundations while slow to change
are not sacred cows in light of new data and testing.
What we must do is accept that we as humans will always be susceptible to groupthink and
other biases, we don’t have the choice. Anything we interact with pulls up a bias.
Training yourself to think scientifically can reduce baises significantly, just like
conditioning one’s mind to enjoy exercise and not addictively enjoy sugary and carby
foods. But you will no matter what slip up, you will believe something without analysis
because it feels good. So you have to accept that and keep moving forward and doing constant
research. What Einstien and others did was great for
making people aware of the problem that is groupthink. But we also need to understand
that it is both a part of us and can have benefits and we have the science now to overcome
the negative effects that groupthink brings. Because of the fact that science is so specialized,
and most of us do not have the knowledge or education to critique it, questioning science
beyond learning from experts in near impossible. Science discovered to condition of bias and
it devoloped the cure, so unless we are trained as counterintuitive as it is we must have
groupthink with skepticism about science. Unless we get to the point where we have computer
chips in our head, we will either stumble around in the dark convinced we have overcome
our own biases or we can use the tools science has given us and correct for them.