The psychiatrist Carl Jung wrote about the Collective Unconscious, defining it as “a part of the unconscious mind, shared by a society, humanity and all life forms, that is the product of ancestral experience and contains such concepts as science, religion, and morality.” Today we have something similar but it is at the foreground of our rapidly changing culture. We are consciously sharing our knowledge and experience so that mistakes are not as often repeated, so that our collective experience is improved that much faster. Its an altruistic movement whether we recognize it or not, but it has the same implications as Jung’s Collective unconscious but now we are forming ours culture rather than our culture forming us as it did in the past. It is easier to challenge the status quo, to question authority, its easier to recognize authority on a subject simply by looking at a person or groups’ work and success, rather than being conned into blindly following because they have the loudest voice and you need a direction to bring meaning or purpose.

This is a basic definition site, light on philosophy of group think.

This is an interesting lecture class @MIT that shows real world examples of group think showing up traditional workhouses. Some are quite amusing, while others like the hotel company putting a virtual model of their new hotel in second life for comments on the design encouraged people to help shape their real world, because what is more important? In a public business like hotels its more important that the design appeal to more people rather than a small design committee that might have their own agenda.