As this recent study suggests, people are in a group that requires unanimous decisions, group members are more likely to ignore moral consequences to pursue the group’s goal .
That is, a group environment facilitates lying, self-deception and justification by spreading responsibility.
Throw the dice
Study participants were asked to roll the dice and report the results. Participants also had the incentive to earn extra money if the reported number was four, regardless of the veracity of the answer.
The results showed that participants overwhelmingly reported getting a four, statistically indicating that many chose to lie . Furthermore, one of the two group conditions was shown to have significantly higher rates of reported lying than the individual condition.
This dynamic reveals that the people in a group are willing to lie and to adopt immoral behaviors when the other members of the group do too, resulting in a feeling of shared responsibility and guilt.
Corollary: if you see a group of people who are very ideologically committed with a purpose (especially if they consider it very important and highly grounded by their values), be on your guard .