by Kyra-lin Hom
The term 'groupthink' was first coined in 1952 by William H. Whyte, Jr. to imply a type of rationalized conformity. Twenty years later, Dr. Irving Janis published the first compendium of early research on the topic. Since then, with the popularization of layman's sociology and psychology, 'groupthink' has become a social buzzword. But what exactly is it and why should any of us care? Let's explore.
Groupthink is what psychologists and other fancy-pants people call a logical or formal fallacy. In other words, it is an invalid pattern of reasoning. Usually a logical fallacy is something that seems true but isn't. For example: all girls drink tea; Nancy is a girl; therefore, Nancy never drinks coffee. This fallacy in particular is called the fallacy of the inverse. There are several, and they're pretty fun to play around with. Then again, I am a self-admitted nerd.