Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Hat

There has been so much anger displayed in the streets of our country for so long now, and especially  since our new president, Donald Trump, came into office.  I have read and heard all the sides of the issues.  It broke my heart to see, on January 21st, the thousands of women (and men) who are basically misguided and enraged beyond sanity making such a disgusting display as the world watched.  There was huge disconnects in the marchers as evident by all the many many different signs with so many different messages that I found it difficult as to what the march was about.  Was it an anti-Trump march?  Was it an anti-life march, an anti-man march, anti-God march?....any thing in between?   I frankly couldn't tell and it was confusing on Facebook, a cousin of my husband ( of whom I claim as my cousin as well) asked the question, what and why are you marching?  It was a peaceful march for equality and women's rights, one said.  It was all about hate, another said....very opposing views indeed!

The most scary thing about this march on January 21 was that it was composed of hundreds and thousands of people who were outrageously angry and filled with hate toward anyone who opposed their views, especially about the unborn babies and the right to believe that abortion is murder hands discussion, and that the new administration in Washington, DC needs a chance to work before judgement cast.

More importantly to note, however, is that this January 21, 2017 "women's" march was contrived by the psychological concept of Group Think.  It was cunningly sold to these women with a hat.  A hat that was going to brand this march together with a strong message of unity and power.  At one site, there were women clamoring for the pattern to crochet, knit, or sew...for themselves or others.  The pattern was posted on ravelry, craftsy, and others.  It was the hat...the branding, that made this group of people grow into such a force that it wasn't going to be stopped.   Good or bad, this group of people were like syrup on hot pancakes...soaking it all up and seeping into their veins a cause that they themselves could not see past.  With their pink hats, they found power and a voice.  As I watched the speakers with their hateful and angry voices, none of them, I noticed wore one of these hats!  The organizer was wearing her hijab, her religious head and neck covering, and it was not even pink, Madonna wore a hat, but it was black, Cher didn't wear a hat, neither did the Planned Parenthood chairwoman, but all the cattle call did.....happily.

Did they not see this?

Looking up the term group-think, I found several definitions, but all consist of several very disturbing symptoms: Psychology Today defines it this way:

Groupthink occurs when a group values harmony and coherence over accurate analysis and critical evaluation. It causes individual members of the group to unquestioningly follow the word of the leader and it strongly discourages any disagreement with the consensus.

Symptoms of Groupthink

  1. Illusion of invulnerability –Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
  2. Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
  3. Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
  4. Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
  5. Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
  6. Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
  7. Illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous.
  8. Self-appointed ‘mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions.

When the above symptoms exist in a group that is trying to make a decision, there is a reasonable chance that groupthink will happen, although it is not necessarily so.  Groupthink occurs when groups are highly cohesive and when they are under considerable pressure to make a quality decision.  When pressures for unanimity seem overwhelming, members are less motivated to realistically appraise the alternative courses of action available to them.  These group pressures lead to carelessness and irrational thinking since groups experiencing groupthink fail to consider all alternatives and seek to maintain unanimity.  Decisions shaped by groupthink have low probability of achieving successful outcomes.