By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
Brought to You by www.SEPP.org
Group Think: Author and journalist Christopher Booker has produced an extensive booklet for the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) applying the concept of groupthink to the climate establishment. This is not the first time the concept has been so employed. Others, such as Tim Ball, have used the concept, but Booker’s effort is the most systematic and comprehensive.
Groupthink describes systematic errors made by groups when making collective decisions. It was popularized by Research Psychologist Irving Janis in his 1982 book of that title. Janis used it to describe the poor US preparation, despite warnings, for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the failed US-supported invasion of Castro’s Cuba in 1961. His work suggests that pressures for conformity restrict independent and critical thinking by individuals of the group, biasing the group’s analyses.