The Pull of Conformity

Conformity is the tendency to align your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with those around you. It's a powerful force that can take the form of overt social pressure or subtler unconscious influence. As much as we like to think of ourselves as individuals, the fact is that we're driven to fit in, and that usually means going with the flow.

Recent posts on Conformity

Guilt and Shame

Guilt and shame are two rather different negative emotions which are often confused. In both cases, people feel bad about themselves—but that is where the similarity ends.

College Students: Coddled or Constructive Activists?

By Saul Levine M.D. on September 19, 2016 in Our Emotional Footprint
Today, college students are expressing dissatisfaction and even feel threatened, but this is often more about their personal feelings rather than the chaotic state of the world.

A Weird Trick To Free Yourself From Your Identity

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on September 19, 2016 in Intentional Insights
Are you worried about your identity labels limiting your freedom? This simple reframing trick could be all you need!

Were the 1970s Better or Worse Than the 60s?

Ah, the 1970s, when we used our own heads as one giant roller. When Jade East, English Leather, Herbal Essence, Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Pursettes filled our backpacks.

The Other Einstein—Was There One?

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in Singletons
At what point can a writer legitimately cross the line between fact and fiction?

Unwavering and Too Proud of It

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 12, 2016 in Ambigamy
Don't mistake poor impulse control for uncompromising principle.

Why Do British Accents Sound Intelligent to Americans?

By Kevin Bennett on September 09, 2016 in Modern Minds
My American baby is speaking British! Is it still acceptable to discriminate based on accent?

“Ex-Gay” Conversion Therapy Movement Puts Lives at Risk

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on September 01, 2016 in Talking About Trauma
Conversion therapy is still a common practice, and still compromises mental health.

Phantom Clowns in South Carolina Are Nothing New

By Robert Bartholomew Ph.D. on August 31, 2016 in It's Catching
Reports of Phantom Clowns in South Carolina luring children into the woods, are most likely a matter for folklorists, not police

Is Authenticity Worth It?

When others won’t accept us as we are, what do we do? We must choose between two important values.

Admit It, You Are Secretly Voting for Donald Trump? Right?

Many people will not follow their expressed views with their vote. These stealth voters will hit the ballot box en masse in November. But will they make a difference?

Proclaiming Your Wabi-Sabi Is a Cathartic Antidote for Shame

By Christopher Bergland on August 27, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
You don't have to be a Zen Buddhist to embrace the power of wabi-sabi. Publicly acknowledging your imperfections can make you immune to the isolation created by shame.

When It Comes to Sex, What's Really 'Normal'?

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on August 26, 2016 in Standard Deviations
Recent research shows that, when it comes to sex, people are kinkier than we realize.

How to Stay True to Yourself in Your Relationship

Feeling that you can be authentic in your relationships is one of the keys to fulfillment. New research gives you the tools to see how well you measure up.

Nonconformity Has Counter-Intuitive Benefits, Study Finds

By Christopher Bergland on August 22, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A new study reports that going along with a group—whose viewpoints you are diametrically opposed to—triggers a physiological threat response.

New Book: Why Knowing Fact From Fiction Really Does Matter

By Jennifer Haupt on August 08, 2016 in One True Thing
In confronting the difficult problems America faces, we all need to have a point of view... a sense of how the world works, and the ability to distinguish solutions from rhetoric.

Clear-Weather Friends

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 07, 2016 in Ambigamy
Fair-weather friends abandon you when you're down. Clear-weather friends abandon you when you want to get down into problems with the friendship.
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Are You a Schlepper or a Schlepee?

Two psychologists on opposite sides of the planet discuss the nature of relationships.

Don't Let Others Run Your Life!

Are you sure you're leading the life you want, as opposed to just following the vision of others? This article provides 3 specific steps to help you lead the life you deserve!

Why We Don’t Always Play by the Rules

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on July 29, 2016 in The Dolphin Divide
Can acting out keep us safe? Not playing by the social rules is often a behavioral warning, which we ignore at our own peril.

When It Comes to Your Money

By Michael F. Kay on July 20, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
"More than 30 people burned in Tony Robbins' hot-coals walk" Associated Press headline June 24, 2016

Status Is the Enemy of Contentment

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 19, 2016 in How To Do Life
Are you paying too big a price for prestige?

'Pokemon Go' Fad Will Be Gone by Christmas

The short, spectacular life of Pokemon Go.

The School That Caught the Hiccups

A bizarre outbreak of hiccupping strikes students at two American schools near the site of the Salem Witch hunts

Do You Tip Here? The Power of Compliance and Acceptance

By Kevin Bennett on June 22, 2016 in Modern Minds
Is tipping just an insincere act of outward conformity? Or is it a behavior performed by millions every day because of their own deeply held values of right and wrong?
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Can Love Live Out Loud and Proud?

By Marty Babits on June 22, 2016 in The Middle Ground
Even in 2016, many still live in the closet. Despite the legalization of gay marriage, the forces of homophobic violence still exact a horrifying price from all.

The Standard Successful Life

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 30, 2016 in How To Do Life
Would you want that?

The Collaborator

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 29, 2016 in How To Do Life
A collaborative mindset yields advantages & disadvantage. Net, is it a plus?

The Happiness Cult

Happiness in its truest expression is that which links the self to others and which grants those same feelings of assurance and support to them.