UCL School of Management

27 October 2020

Colin Fisher explains how to avoid being held back by groupthink

The way we make decisions as groups is fundamental to family life, policymaking and the way businesses operate. When it comes to disruptive times, such as a pandemic, this matters more than ever. But how do we ensure we are making the best decisions in these scenarios?

Dr Colin Fisher, Associate Professor at UCL School of Management, has been looking at how we can better use our collective thoughts and avoid ‘groupthink’ holding us back.

He undertook an experiment where individuals were given some shared information to make a decision, but in order to see the full picture, they had to bring their own information to the group to create a whole. 

The experiment leads were asked to help coax information out of the participants by intervening at different times. Those who received the intervention before they started made good decisions only 19% of the time. If the information was given between 5 and 15 minutes into the task, this shot up to 63%. 

You can view the full article in the Raconteur to understand how to avoid groupthink scenarios, and why we should change a ‘devil’s advocate’ to a ‘devil’s inquirer’.

Last updated Tuesday, 27 October 2020