Pros And Cons Of Conformity

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Conformity is often criticized on grounds of morality. Many, if not all, of the greatest human atrocities have been described as “crimes of obedience” [2]. However, as the victorious American Civil War General and later President Grant makes clear, conformity is equally problematic on grounds of efficacy. Success requires leaders and followers who do not adhere rigidly to a pre-determined script. Rigidity cannot steel them for the challenges of their task or for the creativity of their opponents. Given these problems, it would seem even more unfortunate if human beings were somehow programmed for conformity. Yet this is a view that has become dominant over the last half-century. Its influence can be traced to two landmark empirical programs

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