Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people that is trying to minimize conflict and reach a consensus without critically evaluating other ideas or viewpoints. The negative aspect of groupthink is the loss of individual thought, creativity and uniqueness. On a positive note, groupthink is considered to expedite decisions and improve efficiency.
Marcia Clark, the famous prosecutor from the OJ Simpson case, spoke on the effects of groupthink in the form of the sequestered jury in the Casey Anthony trial. From the moment deliberation began, there was a nearly unanimous decision for not guilty in the count of first-degree murder. The jury, according to Marcia Clark, was already in sync and it had everything to do with sequestration. This group was together for two months, forced to spend day and night together apart from their families and friends. By depending on each other for company, there was a natural desire for cooperation and compromise.
A group that is kept together for a length of time becomes more and more in sync. Individuality begins to disappear as the people in the group have the natural desire to avoid conflict and seek harmony. Proving groupthink is difficult and nearly impossible based on a largely subjective perception. Researchers will argue whether the agreement comes from the social influence of groupthink or if it is a result of a clear, optimal solution.