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In the early 1970s, Irving Janis popularized the term groupthink. It’s when everyone in a group starts thinking alike. No one disagrees. No one takes a critical stance. It can lead to catastrophic decisions, and, as the Wood study suggests, it often can come right out of a fixed mindset. Groupthink can occur when people put unlimited faith in a talented leader, a genius. This is what led to the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, America’s half-baked secret plan to invade Cuba and topple Castro. President Kennedy’s normally astute advisers suspended their judgment. Why? Because they thought he was golden and everything he did was bound to succeed.
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