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In principle, a cohesive group one whose members generally

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In principle, a cohesive group one whose members generally [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2011, 13:46
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In principle, a cohesive group—one whose
members generally agree with one another and
support one another’s judgments—can do a much
better job at decision making than it could if it were
(5) noncohesive. When cohesiveness is low or lacking
entirely, compliance out of fear of recrimination is
likely to be strongest. To overcome this fear,
participants in the group’s deliberations need to be
confident that they are members in good standing and
(10) that the others will continue to value their role in the
group, whether or not they agree about a particular
issue under discussion. As members of a group feel
more accepted by the others, they acquire greater
freedom to say what they really think, becoming less
(15) likely to use deceitful arguments or to play it safe by
dancing around the issues with vapid or conventional
comments. Typically, then, the more cohesive a group
becomes, the less its members will deliberately censor
what they say out of fear of being punished socially
(20) for antagonizing their fellow members.

But group cohesiveness can have pitfalls as well:
while the members of a highly cohesive group can
feel much freer to deviate from the majority, their
desire for genuine concurrence on every important
(25) issue often inclines them not to use this freedom. In a
highly cohesive group of decision makers, the danger
is not that individuals will conceal objections they
harbor regarding a proposal favored by the majority,
but that they will think the proposal is a good one
(30) without attempting to carry out a critical scrutiny that
could reveal grounds for strong objections. Members
may then decide that any misgivings they feel are not
worth pursuing—that the benefit of any doubt should
be given to the group consensus. In this way, they
(35) may fall victim to a syndrome known as
“groupthink,” which one psychologist concerned with
collective decision making has defined as “a
deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and
moral judgment that results from in-group pressures.”

(40) Based on analyses of major fiascoes of
international diplomacy and military decision making,
researchers have identified groupthink behavior as a
recurring pattern that involves several factors:
overestimation of the group’s power and morality,
(45) manifested, for example, in an illusion of
invulnerability, which creates excessive optimism;
closed-mindedness to warnings of problems and to
alternative viewpoints; and unwarranted pressures
toward uniformity, including self-censorship with
(50) respect to doubts about the group’s reasoning and a
concomitant shared illusion of unanimity concerning
group decisions. Cohesiveness of the decision-making
group is an essential antecedent condition for this
syndrome but not a sufficient one, so it is important
(55) to work toward identifying the additional factors that
determine whether group cohesiveness will deteriorate
into groupthink or allow for effective decision
making.


1. Which one of the following, if true, would most
support the author’s contentions concerning the
conditions under which groupthink takes place?

(A) A study of several groups, each made up of
members of various professions, found that
most fell victim to groupthink.
(B) There is strong evidence that respectful dissent
is more likely to occur in cohesive groups than
in groups in which there is little internal
support.
(C) Extensive analyses of decisions made by a large
number of groups found no cases of groupthink
in groups whose members generally distrust
one another’s judgments.
(D) There is substantial evidence that groupthink is
especially likely to take place when members
of a group develop factions whose
intransigence prolongs the group’s
deliberations.
(E) Ample research demonstrates that voluntary
deference to group opinion is not a necessary
factor for the formation of groupthink behavior.

2. In line 5, the author mentions low group cohesiveness
primarily in order to

(A) contribute to a claim that cohesiveness can be
conducive to a freer exchange of views in
groups
(B) establish a comparison between groupthink
symptoms and the attributes of low-cohesion
groups
(C) suggest that there may be ways to make both
cohesive and noncohesive groups more open to
dissent
(D) indicate that both cohesive and noncohesive
groups may be susceptible to groupthink
dynamics
(E) lay the groundwork for a subsequent proposal
for overcoming the debilitating effects of low
cohesion

3. Based on the passage, it can be inferred that the author
would be most likely to agree with which one of the
following?

(A) Highly cohesive groups are more likely to
engage in confrontational negotiating styles
with adversaries than are those with low
cohesion.
(B) It is difficult for a group to examine all relevant
options critically in reaching decisions unless it
has a fairly high degree of cohesiveness.
(C) A group with varied viewpoints on a given issue
is less likely to reach a sound decision
regarding that issue than is a group whose
members are unified in their outlook.
(D) Intense stress and high expectations are the key
factors in the formation of groupthink.
(E) Noncohesive groups can, under certain
circumstances, develop all of the symptoms of
groupthink.


Official answers will be provided after discussions.
Senior Manager
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Re: A good 700+ level RC [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2011, 03:37
1. A
2. E
3. C
I am hugely skeptical about my answers because I spent a lot of time reading the passage and on the first question. Took 6.5 minutes to answer just 3 questions. :(
Please provide the OA soon...
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Re: A good 700+ level RC [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2011, 04:49
As for the 6.5 minutes of time to answer these questions re concerned - I think you did very well.

The official answers are:
1. C
2. A
3.B
Senior Manager
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Re: A good 700+ level RC [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2011, 05:35
sharmapranav23 wrote:
As for the 6.5 minutes of time to answer these questions re concerned - I think you did very well.

The official answers are:
1. C
2. A
3.B

Well I guess the "doing good" on the 6.5 minutes is quite hopeless, considering that none of my answers is right.
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Re: A good 700+ level RC   [#permalink] 19 Dec 2011, 05:35
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