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Critical Thinking in Group

Categories Critical Thinking, Human, Society, Sociology, Thinking

Essay, Pages 3 (628 words)



Essay, Pages 3 (628 words)


Let’s talk about groups – more specifically, what does group theory mean in the fire service as a firefighter? Groups influence behaviors such as whose task it is to clean the bathrooms do engine check out to ensure all tools are needed to safe a life etc. There are many aspects of group theory that play out into the daily life of a firefighter without one even realizing it.

The first theory that I will cover is groupthink.

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Groupthink is a detractor from progress regarding cultural change. This is best described by John Hayes, who describes groupthink as a deterioration of mental efficiency, realty testing, and moral judgment that is the result of in-group pressure. (Hayes 2014)

This theory is hindering in the fire service because it stops the energetic, ground-breaking, and adaptive culture born from challenging common views and building new ideas – the type where we would normally bounce ideas back and forth in a trusting environment that is results oriented and rooted in the mission of life preservation.

This podium is where we will find the best solutions to practical issues, not passive acceptance to known routines. It should be a best practice when logically and actively researched as best. The source of this problem lies within our traditions and coaching. Behaviors and actions have been learned through the systems we were raised within. The leaders at the station learned from their academy instructors, captains, chiefs and other senior respected personnel at the station.

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The values, norms, and way of life have been passed down for years.

Cognative Biases

Cognitive biases can be a byproduct manifested by groupthink. Cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviations from rational judgment influenced by our social environment drawing on illogical perceptions from our experience. The mindset these opinions create is independent within our social context, and assumptions are drawn off differing aspects.

A cognitive bias is often reinforced if cultural influencers have a history of success. (Hayes, 2014, p.13) The bias will limit their idea to negative impacts of current actions. Where comfort and conformity rules, a level of self-belief in the cognitive bias is strengthened. The example in many fire stations highlights this issue as being one of the primary reasons that stops thing from having effective change. The bias then becomes the heavily guarded agent of our identity. Changing the bias and, therefore, the procedure can be viewed as an effort to change me. These biases can become cultural norms based on the influence of influencers promoting them.

Struggling with Change

Interpersonal matters can quickly become a barrier to cultural change if not addressed. People experience a personal transition when organizational change is encountered such as in fire fighting and joining the military. People will differ in their adaptability to such change. Some will require more support than others. The stages of personal transition include the following: awareness/shock; denial; depression; letting go; testing; consolidation, reflection learning, and internalization. (Hayes, 2014, p.269)

Firefighters struggling emotionally with organizational change may be hard to hard to understand. Many do not realize that being a fire fighter is Para military and not mentally prepared for all that goes into the training, reporting from duty as well as adapting to the schedule; working 24 hours shifts and being away from their family for sometimes months at a time.

The dangers and risks of being a fire fighter are usually normalized to the individual within the first year and the fears are usually not talked about. Failing to talk about concerns regardless of frustration levels will impact trust. A lack of trust will impede progress more than any other factor. (Hayes, 2014, p.237) In fact, those who don’t trust you will often look to sabotage your efforts. As I have witnessed firsthand.

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Critical Thinking in Group. (2019, Dec 03). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/critical-thinking-in-group-essay

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