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

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.

Let's Face It, 'Vanilla Only' Sex Is Nonnormative

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on August 26, 2016 in Standard Deviations
Recent research shows that people are much more kinky than we realize, which leads to a necessary but unlikely conclusion: "Vanilla only" sex, rather than kink, is nonnormative.

3 Ways to Be More Authentic in Your Intimate Relationships

Feeling that you can be authentic in your relationships is certainly one of the keys to fulfillment. New research gives you the tools to test 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.

Freedom vs. Security in Marvel's Captain America: Civil War

Erich Fromm believed people too readily escape from freedom to feel safe, and yet fans of Captain America: Civil War say they'd choose freedom first. Would they really? Would you?

Promposals: The Darkness Beneath the Cheer

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on May 06, 2016 in Living Single
Promposals are not just fun and games. Value systems and feelings of shame are also in play.

I Order You to Stop Following Orders!

By Guy P. Harrison on May 03, 2016 in About Thinking
We all have a natural weakness for authority figures. To be safer, question everything and think twice before following orders.

Celebrating the Ordinary - The Advantages of Being Dull

Are you predictable, reliable, safe or just plain dull? Maybe there’s benefit in being boring?

Are We All Hypocrites?

Is hypocrisy bad, or is it in fact just the natural state of the human psyche?

Whistle Blowing: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Whistle blowing is now commonplace in government, corporations and institutions which encourage the reporting of malfeasance. We all support this but there are sometimes downsides.

The Value of Complaining

By Hank Davis on April 23, 2016 in Caveman Logic
Forget that old edict "Say nothing if you have nothing nice to say." Complaining may provide real benefit to the individual and to the group.

Ethical Rage

Is rage a feeling that should be removed from our ethical choices? Or is it an intrinsic part of our decisions without which our intentions would remain buried in our conscience?

MRIs Reveal Unconscious Bias in the Brain

By Bernard J. Luskin, Ed.D., LMFT on April 07, 2016 in The Media Psychology Effect
Unconscious bias has been identified, observed and validated in brain studies using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology. Unconscious bias is now acknowledged. A must read!

Edward Bernays, Uncle Freud, and Betty Crocker

Edward Bernays capitalized on his Uncle Sigmund Freud's theories to sell you products by making you self-conscious.
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Can Someone Be Homosexual and Not Gay?

Many men, especially those who are married and experiencing same-sex attraction, are unwilling to accept the label "gay," and prefer "homosexual" instead. Here's why.