Difference between Groupthink and Group Polarization

When different groups of individuals get together, there are certain to be disagreements on various issues. When you're in a large group, whether at work, school, or a social event, you can't help but notice the different people you're talking to. Meetings of this nature often lead to "groupthink" or "group polarization," two phenomena that can have negative effects on everyone involved.

At the end of a meeting, people have the opportunity to either give up their own ideas in favor of conforming to those of others or to stick to their own convictions. This phenomenon can be better understood by applying the article's description of the difference between groupthink and group polarization.

What is Groupthink?

When reaching a conclusion, this approach is utilized to ensure that no one in the group feels personally attacked. In this method, the group reaches a decision with little to no critical examination of the ramifications of the options on the table. Consequences of avoiding confrontation include a decline in innovation and creativity.

As a result, employees may feel discouraged to contribute fresh ideas for fear of upsetting others, including management. Members can avoid becoming victims of groupthink by being given the opportunity to dispute issues on an individual basis. Having enough time to discuss issues is also helpful since it reduces the chance of making snap decision.

What is Group Polarization?

The phenomenon of group polarization is expanding in scope and intensity.

This approach to collective decision-making emphasizes reaching outcomes that are less moderate than the sum of the team's individual members' original views and feelings. What happens when people compare themselves to others? It's likely to happen when people in a group start out to make a decision with the attitude that their viewpoint is superior to that of the others.

A short time into the discussion, it becomes clear that the participants' core viewpoints are very different: they are either exceedingly dangerous or extremely conservative, and they embrace the extreme stance. This insight comes after the dialogue has already begun. This affects the way choices are made within.

Members of a polarized group are more likely to be on the safe side of things, hence the group's decisions tend to be conservative. However, the group's judgments are more likely to be risky if its members are too cautious.

Differences − Groupthink and Group polarization

The following table highlights how Groupthink is different from Group Polarization −

Characteristics Groupthink Group Polarization


The word "groupthink" describes what happens when people in a group decide on a course of action without fully considering all of the potential repercussions.

The phrase "group polarization" is used to describe a decision-making method in which the focus is placed on reaching collective choices that are more extreme than the initial thoughts and reasoning of the team's individual members.


In groupthink, individuals make decisions with the goal of not upsetting the majority opinion.

Risk-averse individuals of a polarized group are more prone to make high-risk decisions, whereas cautious members are more likely to make extremely conservative ones.


The term "groupthink" describes what happens when people in a group decide on a course of action without fully considering all of the potential repercussions. It causes people to make decisions based on how not to upset a specific demographic, which is obviously not the best course of action.

In contrast, group polarization is a decision-making method that encourages members of a team to adopt positions more extreme than their own upon joining the group. This leads to overly cautious decisions when group members are cautious and to reckless ones when they are risk-averse.

Updated on: 15-Dec-2022


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