By: Charlotte Dowell, Intern

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs in groups when the desire for homogeneity or conformity in the group causes people to make irrational decisions to create the conformity.  This idea is a very powerful tool in marketing because it explains how things can become virally popular.  If one person in a group likes product X, the rest of the group will follow suit so that everyone is the same.  When marketers capitalize on groupthink they are able to skyrocket a product’s popularity and increase the number of people who know of the product.  This idea however is not new.  In 1841 Charles Mackay wrote a book called Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds about this phenomenon.  He was able to accurately explain and portray the erratic decision making caused by groupthink.  Using this book to understand how groupthink works will allow marketers to properly capitalize on it and use it to their advantage in marketing their products.  

This book is still in print and can bought online with this link: