Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

Beware of Groupthink...

Spotted next to the laser printer this morning, this National Geographic Adventure article on the subject of mob mentality and "groupness."

Throughout the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, A&P fell into decline and ceased to exist in many regions. The strangest thing about this is that A&P had the same information that other companies, notably Kroger, had. The world had changed. The old model wouldn’t work anymore. A&P had even opened an experimental store called the Golden Key that succeeded using the supermarket model we know today. The information clashed with what they believed to be true, so they closed the store and ignored the information, while Kroger went on to become one of the largest grocery chains in America.

What A&P did is not uncommon, whether in business, in science, or even in the wilderness. Behavior like that, seemingly contrary and nonsensical, stems at least in part from a phenomenon that psychologists call "groupness."

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