Illusion of invulnerability –Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
Illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous.
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.
The following experiment conducted by a junior high school student is a great example of the fact that humans, by nature, are more often being led than they leading.
A student at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair, April 26. He was attempting to show how conditioned we have become to alarmists practicing junk science and spreading fear of everything in our environment. In his project he urged people to sign a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide."
And for plenty of good reasons, since:
1. It can cause excessive sweating and vomiting
2. It is a major component in acid rain
3. It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
4. Accidental inhalation can kill you
5. It contributes to erosion
6. It decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes
7. It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients
He asked 50 people if they supported a ban of the chemical.
· Forty-three (43) said yes,
· Six (6) were undecided,
· And only one (1) knew that the chemical was water.