Dr Benjamin Janaway @drjanaway Psychiatrist, Writer and Science Communicator. Working on a novel. Widely published. Media enquiries via DM. RTs usually endorsements. Future Silver Fox. May. 05, 2019 1 min read

When considering issues as a member of a political group, remember

1) Being a member of a group does not make your logic or actions invulnerable to recourse or argument. You are an individual.

2) Unquestioning belief in the group is dangerous.

3) Those who express contradictory views are often attacked because it risks pointing out fallacies in arguments or weaknesses in ideology or behaviour.

4) No group has a complete unity of ideas amongst its members, it just claims to.

5) This, in part, is due to a pressure exerted on members to conform to the groups ideology. It is a manipulative practice, and we are susceptible to it because we wish to belong

6) Alternative arguments are often rationalised away, or suppressed, to fit the group narrative. This is either "cherry picking" supportive information, or trying to undermine uncomfortable truths through spurious emotional arguments.

7) Members of an opposing group will be stereotyped, making them seem less human. This means the groups behaviour is seen as superior (i.e Trump linking mexicans with rapists, ot Farage remainers with elite, or remainers Brexiteers with racists.)

8) Methods are put in place to prevent access to alternative options, such as suggesting only one news source, or blocking internet access. More subtle ways, like establishing distrust in others will do this too.

Put simply, political or ideological groupthink uses a range of methods, both direct and unconscious, to turn us against each other through the creation of biased narratives.

Read any newspaper, and you can see it. See any politician, you can see it. The answer is asking whether you are being manipulated, whether an enemy is false, whether your ideas make sense and how and why they are shot down.

This has happened on both sides in recent years, for example common hashtags can signify where this occurs:

#fbpe #JC4PM #brexit #ukip etc etc.

You can follow @drjanaway.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 700,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.