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Take Home Exam Essay

1565 words - 7 pages

Assignment 1- Open Book Exam

PHC100 – Professional Communications

PHC100 Take Home Open Book Examination

1. You are a member of a decision making group at work where five people have a strong united vision, but three people including yourself, believe they are being dangerously optimistic, impulsive and misinformed. What social psychology theory of yourself and others would help you to maintain your own beliefs, and promote your minority position

When working within a group in a professional context it is essential that we understand how the individuals interact with each other and the group as a whole. It is important to maintain a strong sense of integrity and ...view middle of the document...

72). As such, it can often be that a co worker you believe to be dangerously optimistic has been blinded by their inflated sense of self and truly believes they are likely to succeed. Any attempt to dissuade this person would be difficult due to a related phenomenon known as belief perseverance whereby a person maintains an initial belief even after it has been discredited (Myers, 2010, pp. 84-88). It has been suggested that such a result is caused by an individuals feeling that their self image is threatened by the discredited information and will maintain a resilience in their original belief (Cory L. Guenther, 2008). A self serving bias is important in the management of self esteem and contributes to the development of a resilient professional persona. Understanding the nature of belief perseverance will facilitate an altruistic attitude when one realizes those irrational beliefs can have negative connotations for others.
Groupthink is a social psychological concept that describes the interactions of those within a cohesive group that results in ineffective decision making (Myers, 2010), however studies have shown that directive leadership plays a greater role than cohesion (Fodor, 1982). A common issue faced by those affected by groupthink is that the desire to form a consensus to maintain their united vision will result in a disregard for factual information. This disregard for the facts will lead a group to be misinformed and make impulsive and dangerously optimistic decisions.
Groups that engage in a discussion or debate over a particular topic have a tendency to focus on information that enables them become further entrenched in their own ideas and beliefs (Myers, 2010, pp. 288-290). This is a result of group polarization. In a professional context a majority opinion within the workplace is likely to be intensified by debate, as is that of the minority. However, in maintaining a resilient and assertive persona it is beneficial to acknowledge the power of the minority influence and how a minority can be promoted.
The decision making of a majority, while subject to the potential for groupthink and group polarization, can be influenced by an assertive and resilient minority party. It has been said that people want to be a part of the majority to gain social approval and as a result don’t consider the reasoning in detail, leading to public compliance but little private change (Robin Martin, 2012, p. 94). Due to those in the majority group often not being steadfast in their beliefs a minority group exhibiting the qualities facilitative of creating influence: confidence, persistence and self confidence (Myers, 2010, pp. 299-300) can cause others to reevaluate their ideas and potentially initiate a snowball effect as those of the majority defect to the minority viewpoint.
With the understanding and application of these social psychology concepts within the workplace it is possible for one to maintain an assertive and resilient...

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