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

#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…or Is It, Really?

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on October 07, 2017 in Adaptive Behavior
Should some speech be suppressed? When is in not legitimate to present both sides of an argument?

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?

Could your friends be causing you to make bad choices? Avoid this problem with a few tips from this piece.

12 Ways of Seeing Your Entanglement With a Narcissist

Seeing patterns objectively—yours and the narcissist's—is as important as acknowledging your feelings.

Why Are We Doing This, Sir? What's The Point?

By Nick Luxmoore on August 12, 2017 in Young People Up Close
How to make sense of the adult world without having the identity of a traditional profession? How to develop a sense of personal agency in a world where the rules keep changing?

Keep on a Happy Face

Is feeling sad or depressed so socially unacceptable that we must pretend to be happy?

It's Not My Fault. The Millennial Answer to Everything!

By Bobby Hoffman Ph.D. on August 09, 2017 in Motivate!
When things go awry, parents and leaders often cast blame, yet fail to take accountability for their decisions. Knowing why we shirk responsibility can lead to better outcomes.

Who Gets Our Stamp of Approval?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 06, 2017 in How To Do Life
We revere the wrong people.

My Life as an Unlikable Woman

By Jennifer Haupt on August 02, 2017 in One True Thing
Janelle Brown's characters do everything that she is afraid of doing herself.
Used by permission from Getty Images.

Why Be So Obnoxious at the Airport and on the Plane?

By Steve Albrecht DBA on August 01, 2017 in The Act of Violence
Can't we all just get along in the airport and on the plane?

What Should We Do About Irrational Politicians?

Why do some government decisions seem so irrational? A look into the psychological processes that produce dysfunctional policy decisions.

Are Friends the Enemies of Wise Choices?

Don't let your friends take you for a ride! Learn how to avoid letting them manipulate you into making bad decisions.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Facebook for Children?

Children believe that Facebook is a protected environment, but are they right?

The Life-Changing Magic of Going Your Own Way

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on July 09, 2017 in Living Single
Guest blogger Ellen Worthing watched all the kayaking couples go in one direction, and she went the other. It did not turn out the way any of them anticipated.

Evergreen College, the Rejection Complex, and Bullying

Evergreen State College was recently in turmoil. There were accusations of racism and bullying along with threats and a show of riot police. What's underneath the hysteria?
Uber Images/Shutterstock

Choosing Children’s Surnames

Conventionally, women take their husband’s surname, as do any children. But as married women increasingly retain their birth surnames, how do couples decide on children’s surnames?