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 Adam Tyson
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Thanks for the question, ct325, and welcome to the Forum! The problem with answer A is that there is no support in the passage for anyone engaging in "confrontational negotiating styles with adversaries". There was some mention of members in cohesive groups not fearing recriminations for being antagonistic, so that they feel freer to express their opinions, but nothing about adversaries and nothing about cohesiveness leading to confrontational negotiations.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, this type of question has to be answered solely on the evidence found in the text. To pick an answer like A, you would have to find some text that supports such an inference. I've searched for it and haven't found any, and in fact found a lot of the opposite - highly cohesive groups tend to get along despite their varying opinions, because they feel a sense of mutual respect and value.

If you find some text to support A, please share it with us here, and we can take another look and try to better understand where you're coming from. And of course, keep asking more questions of us now that you're here!
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Hi, Jonathan Evans,

I was similarly confused by answer E. My objections to your reasoning is that the answer choice doesn't say they develop groupthink. It says they develop the symptoms of groupthink. An example that illustrates the distinction I'm drawing here is a person could go to the doctor and complain that they have all of the symptoms of the flu without actually having the flu.

The first paragraph of the passage pretty clearly says that low-cohesion groups develop self-censorship, which is consistent with the characteristics of groupthink discussed in the second paragraph.

That said, one flaw that I've identified to AC E after reviewing it more carefully is that having "all" of the symptoms might be questionable because I guess we are never really told what all of the symptoms are. But your initial explanation, if I've understood it correctly, seems to be the most common reason I've seen for eliminating E. Could you please elaborate a little more about it regarding my rationale above?

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Hi cascott15!

While you are correct that you could have flu-like symptoms without actually having the flu, I don't think that analogy really holds up here as there is a very big difference between medical illnesses and group decision-making processes. Using the term "symptom" outside of a medical context tends to be less rigid in its definition. So in this case, having the "all of the symptoms of groupthink" would basically be the same as having groupthink.

But I do think you're correct that this "ALL of the symptoms of groupthink" is significant. The symptoms (or factors) of groupthink are listed in lines 44-52. Noncohesive groups may exhibit some self-censorship (as in the 1st paragraph) but there is nowhere in the passage that states that noncohesive groups may exhibit any of the other symptoms or factors involved in groupthink.

Hope this helps!

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Hi there,

I originally eliminated B, I think because of it saying "examine all relevant options critically" seemed too far out of scope. I see upon reviewing how this is correct. If group members are allowed to freely share their thoughts, they are able to to disagree and think critically about an issue to improve it (instead of going with the flow and conforming or worse, group think where critical thinking goes away).

I chose A though. It was attractive to me because it highlighted the part of the passage that shows people in cohesive groups are likely to disagree with each other and challenge each other (without fear). I am seeing now how this answer choice is a little too extreme though. Just because they are more likely to disagree, does not imply that they are more likely to be confrontational? Is this why A is wrong? I guess I am also seeing that if cohesive groups are more likely to disagree and noncohesive groups are more likely to conform, it seems like the cohesive group would be more likely to engage in confrontation. Help?

 Jeremy Press
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Hi heartofsunshine,

The major problem with answer choice A is its reference to "adversaries," by which it means adversaries of the group itself (not adversaries within the group). The passage never discusses what might happen when a group (cohesive or non-cohesive) negotiates with an adversary to the group. Since that specific scenario is never discussed, we have no support for how the group might handle it, i.e. whether it would be confrontational or not.

Although I agree with you that the group members themselves might be freer to disagree with each other in a highly cohesive group, we cannot know how such groups would interact with the groups' adversaries. Does that make sense? I hope so!

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Wow, Thanks Jeremy. I didn't even catch that! :0
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Hi! I'm having a lot of trouble understanding why C is incorrect and B is correct. Is it bc the author doesn't explicitly state that non cohesive groups are less likely to reach a sound decision than cohesive ones? It seems like the only option for a group to make good decisions is if it's cohesive (with the risk of groupthink) therefore it would be more likely to reach a sound decision.
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Hey Ash,

I am not with Powerscore, but initially chose C and ruled it out after a second take. The author never discusses probability in the passage and never compared groups with cohesion against those without. Rather, the author says "a cohesive group CAN do a much better job at decision making that it could if it were noncohesive". "Can" here doesn't mean the cohesive group will actually do a better job, or that it's even more likely; "can" here only means that the possibility is exists. Hope this helps

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