Friday, July 24, 2009

Post No. 127c: Article of Interest on the Downside Associated with Conformity


The following article is taken from the July 24, 2009 electronic edition of the New York Times. It really made us stop and think about many of our social institutions. It is well worth the read.



Researcher Condemns Conformity Among His Peers

By Nicholas Wade

"'Academics, like teenagers [and college students], sometimes don’t have any sense regarding the degree to which they are conformists.'

"So says Thomas Bouchard, the Minnesota psychologist known for his study of twins raised apart, in a retirement interview with Constance Holden in the journal Science.

"Journalists, of course, are conformists too. So are most other professions. There’s a powerful human urge to belong inside the group, to think like the majority, to lick the boss’s shoes, and to win the group’s approval by trashing dissenters...."

To view the remainder of the article, simply click here.

9 comments:

  1. How interesting. Just last night, I caught an old episode of "Most Evil" wherein Charlie Manson and his followers were examined. In the show, a study was mentioned about how people would put aside what they know to be true in order to conform to a group. We are, after all, "herd animals". When I say "we" here, I am generalizing. But I think we all have the urge to "fit in."

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  2. Douglas:

    Thanks for your contribution. Just think about Hitler and his followers. Although the German people, according to historians, were purportedly "ripe" for following Hitler's directives, in theory, one would have thought that more people within Germany would have resisted his demands and prevented his movement from ever acquiring its critical mass. Apparently not.

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  3. Rodak.

    Scary but true. You might find some of the other research of Thomas Bouchard interesting. We've added a hyperlink in connection with his name. Click on it for further info.

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  4. Hey IC I wasn't sure if you were troll baiting me on my site but I like what i see here ! Funny as a career teacher in an urban district I am looking to transfer to a new school and have zero intention of shaving or cutting off my pony tail when i have to interview with new principals. I have mulled it over and will let the union deal with it if anyone tries to make an issue of it. I am too damned 48 old to worry about conforming at this point. What's more is they usually look at a guy my size and think Great I can use him in lunch duty and after school at the bus stops ! And I say guess again friend I am educated and literate and well read and not your damned bouncer. Great topic. Peace

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  5. Rastamick61: Thanks much for visiting us, and there was some element of trolling going on, but we're glad that you were curious and took the time to visit us.

    Quite frankly, although we have been getting overwhelming, record-shattering hit numbers on our Harvard professor arrest piece, we would have much preferred that we received those numbers in connection with this article on Conformity.

    Thanks for your insightful comments. Peace back at ya.

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  6. Today, Sunday, at 2:00 pm EDST, C-Span2 Book TV will once again air a book discussion program involving "The Tyranny of Dead Ideas: Letting Go of the Old Ways of Thinking to Unleash a New Prosperity."

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey IC I wasn't sure if you were troll baiting me on my site but I like what i see here ! Funny as a career teacher in an urban district I am looking to transfer to a new school and have zero intention of shaving or cutting off my pony tail when i have to interview with new principals. I have mulled it over and will let the union deal with it if anyone tries to make an issue of it. I am too damned 48 old to worry about conforming at this point. What's more is they usually look at a guy my size and think Great I can use him in lunch duty and after school at the bus stops ! And I say guess again friend I am educated and literate and well read and not your damned bouncer. Great topic. Peace

    ReplyDelete
  8. Today, Sunday, at 2:00 pm EDST, C-Span2 Book TV will once again air a book discussion program involving "The Tyranny of Dead Ideas: Letting Go of the Old Ways of Thinking to Unleash a New Prosperity."

    ReplyDelete

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