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

Kids, Would You Please Lower Your Weapons?

With authoritarians on both the Right and the Left dominating political discourse, it's tough (and sometimes unsafe) for the sensible center to get a word in edgewise.
Pixabay

Is Your Greatest Strength Limiting Your Life?

Our personalities are like our bodies: They should be developed as part of an organic whole.
Confederate Flag sinisamaric1 CC0

You Can Love Your Country and Still Take a Knee

We are more divided than ever. The controversy over "taking a knee" and honoring our country reflects how we confuse signs and symbols. Here's a better way to think about it.

Lidia Yuknavitch's Love Letter to Fellow Misfits

By Jennifer Haupt on November 16, 2017 in One True Thing
Some of us manage to invent bodies, voices, and lives worth living even though we don’t fit in to the normative socius.
Carl Pickhardt Ph. D.

Adolescence and Conflicts between Constancy and Change

The art of parenting an adolescent is knowing the difference between what needs to change and what needs to stay the same.

Meet the Teen Who Discovered the Secret of Social Capital

The design of children's social life teaches them to create a world of status where people are left out and mistreated. One teen is trying to change that — with an app.

Why Do People Hate Smart Women?

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on November 06, 2017 in Feeling Our Way
How much of parenting literature makes complicated what is actually quite simple.
Banksy / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Wikimedia Commons

I Spy With My Little Eye

Who is watching you and why?

American Cinema Has Produced Its First Woman Auteur

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on November 04, 2017 in Addiction in Society
Greta Gerwig is the first great American woman "auteur" director - so what's a century to two?

Iain Thomas: Why Read Poetry?

By Jennifer Haupt on October 26, 2017 in One True Thing
Young people find something a poet has written, take a picture and post it to their social media accounts as a way to say, “I’ve felt this. I just didn't know how to say it."

Burger King Video Proves Folly of Relying on Bystanders

By Izzy Kalman on October 23, 2017 in Resilience to Bullying
Burger King's viral video for Bullying Prevention and Awareness Month promotes the most highly touted solution to bullying but unwittingly proves why it has been failing.
John-Manuel Andriote

Claiming Our Gay 'Heroic Legacy' in LGBT History Month

By John-Manuel Andriote on October 19, 2017 in Stonewall Strong
Gay men's heroism in the AIDS years redefined what "gay" means. It's up to each of us to claim the power of the legacy for ourselves.

Can You Keep Your Head When Others Are Losing Theirs?

By Atalanta Beaumont on October 19, 2017 in Handy Hints for Humans
How to develop and keep a solid sense of self

#MeToo Meet #ImperfectMen

Why aren’t #ImperfectMen speaking out?

Alexa, Should I Ask You to Help Me Make Decisions?

We're becoming more reliant on digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri to help us make decisions. What might this be doing to us as autonomous and authentic individuals?

Racism Is Everywhere…Is It, Really?

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on October 07, 2017 in Adaptive Behavior
Should some issues never be discussed because some ideas might lead to policies we don't like?

2017 Nobel Literature Winner on Sycophancy

Ishiguro's brilliant portrait of the excruciating side of sycophantic self-nullification.

All-Female "Lord of the Flies" Remake

How would a Muslim girl, a transgender boy, a girl suffering from autism (and, of course, a female 'Piggy') influence dynamics in an all-female Lord of the Flies remake?

Allegiance to What?

“Who” and “what” are we respecting when we proclaim our devotion to country? And who gets to say what our expressions of commitment – or non-commitment – "mean"?

Earthquake Shock: Mexico’s Buried Schoolgirl Who Never Was

By Robert Bartholomew Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in It's Catching
Vanishing Schoolgirl Likely Never Existed

Going From Lonely to Only: Talking with Nilofer Merchant

By Morra Aarons-Mele on September 21, 2017 in Hiding in the Bathroom
Sixty-one percent of people give up, cover, and hide themselves at work. Claim that spot in the world only you stand in.

How Avoiding Conflict Escalates Conflict In Relationships

Conflict-resilient people have healthier and more intimate relationships.

Faux Feminism

Is feminism a liberation movement, a lifestyle or a brand?

Can Brain Imaging Teach Us Anything about Racism?

Confused and exasperated over recent events in Charlottesville? Here's a look into what neuroscience can and can't tell us about racism.

‘Sonic Attack’ on the U.S. Embassy Likely Psychological

By Robert Bartholomew Ph.D. on September 05, 2017 in It's Catching
'Sonic wave attack' is more likely mass hysteria.

Accepting Payment Satisfies Primitive Drives

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on August 29, 2017 in The Dolphin Divide
How hidden associations manipulate our motivation. Rarely do we work solely for the reasons we think.

What Is Value Creation?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on August 25, 2017 in Jacob's Staff
As an entrepreneur, are you not defining your value to society? New tech tools are driving a new cycle of mediums of exchange that re-define value. Are you prepared to benefit?

How Social Contagion Helps Explain Our Pet Choices

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Animals and Us
The craze for flat-faced dogs may have been produced by the same mob mentality that caused a wave of pet euthanasia in 1939.

Are Friends the Enemies of Wise Choices?

By Dr. Gleb Tsipursky on August 18, 2017 in Intentional Insights
Could your friends be causing you to make bad choices? Avoid this problem with a few tips from this piece.