The Psychology of Conformity

The Psychology of Conformity

The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker –
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This video, building on the ideas of Ernest Becker, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Emerson, examines why we are so susceptible to conformity and looks at why nonconformity, or the cultivation of one’s uniqueness, is such an important ingredient in a life well-lived.
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June 28, 2017 / 49 Comments / by / in
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  • "In every civilization, however generally prosaic, however addicted to the short-time point of view on human affairs, there are always certain alien spirits who, while outwardly conforming to the requirements of the civilization around them, still keep a disinterested regard for the plain intelligible law of things, irrespective of any practical end. " AJ Nock

  • Conservatives ridicule non conformists

  • I don't see conformity and nonconformity as different roads, instead they are different lanes on the road. Even by traveling the lane of nonconformity means that you still conform to the nonconformists. Does this make sense? The uniqueness in my mind comes from changing lanes as one travels the road of life, by not staying in one lane alone.

  • One conforms because we live in a world full of insecurity

  • this vid is how to be a comformist and a non comformist essentially funny a conformists defination of both

  • Nonconformism is a beacon that made our species to advance

  • The new type of conformity is group identify group of transgender snowflakes

  • Here's an idea,
    Conformity is good and a privilege.
    Non conformists are isolated and by default selfish (who can you think of if there's only you). Not everyone can conform because there's not a role or a place for everyone in society.
    Being a non conformist is like only speaking and understanding French whereas everyone around you only understand English, it's a hard way to "Vivre". Conformity is what holds everything together, we need doctors and waiters and factory workers.
    Look around you, all of these marginalized groups are begging for the ability to conform, to just be normal, be accepted. It's for a reason. Being "Special" hardly ever is special or romantic- it's being alone, hungry, and hated.

    There's nothing wrong with being creative or artistic, but you're wrong if you think for a second that you're in the minority there.

  • Good, but it seems today that everyone believes to be the worse victim and all time special humans, but most of us are average and that is OK.

    When people realize this, they become depressed. The crowd is a better lie for us than the 'new mindset' that is killing us.

  • It does not matter how much you know, or how much you do, you will still be dirt. You are not special by being a non-conformist, and probably the most efficient way to be happy is to be a conformist.

    Life is too short to do something significant anymore.

  • you really wanna know why people are not non-conformists? i'll speak like the true prepotent fuck i am. its too much pain. you put everyone against you all the time, almost 0 exceptions. i already tried too many times to conform at some way, but i am afraid of ending up ''killing'' myself with all the fake bullshit and responsabilities that come with social heroism, and i am too confortable in my own skin, even with all the bullshit and responsabilities that come with personal heroism. at the moment i'm slowly thinking about selling myself to other side, but trust me, even if i do, it won't be cheap.

  • Conformity is a Black Hole.
    Conformity exists, that others might live more fully. It is simply a matter of personal choice, based on personal ability.

  • This is amazing work

  • The left, cultural Marxists and SJWs are the epitome of conformists, as they insist all conform to their dogmatism. Non conformists resist with all the might.

  • I'm a lazy f·ck.

  • lame. everyone conforms

  • Please conform to my penis.

  • Non conformity/conformity is in the eye of the beholder. As the old English joke points out…while reviewing a military parade: " Look there, they are all out of step except for our Albert!"

  • Wow. What an orderly way to present Becker's ideas. Very clear and pretty impressive.

  • It is usually not wise to stand out in a crowd.

  • I laugh at people who pee their pants if called PC names such as racist, homophobe, anti-Semitic, Nazi, islamophobe. They would rather die than tell the truth and be called a name.

  • Dear + Academy of Ideas,

    Great video as usual. I just have one main issue with your videos that deal with the themes of oppression, liberty or individuality vs conformity. Why do you systematically refer to the government as the main, if not the sole source, of oppression and manufacturer of conformity? I haven’t seen a video yet where the capitalist system, which is today the major source of oppression and conformity locally and globally, is denounced. To put it shorty, the capitalist system (to greatly summarize the economic and political elite of our countries) controls our government (neoliberalism for the past 40 years tends to strip the people and the classical political insitutions from political power and hand it over it to private financial institutions) and hugely conforms our everyday life by, for example, imposing its consumerist ideology and wage labor (in France 95%+ of worker if I recall correctly). Thus due mainly to the actual division of labor and the educative system that strips people from their autonomy by dispensing skills that are useful only for the perpetuation of the capitalist system (education is now more and more focused on preparing people for wage labor and nothing else).

    So I repeat my question, why never – or so rarely – mention the global capitalist system as a major factor of oppression?

  • I love your videos, thanks for the great work.

  • Smart kid

  • I think it's funny when intellectual philosophical types look at conformity. It's as if they were staring through the wrong end of a telescope. Conformity isn't some heartfelt, constantly reaffirmed, well-thought-out choice. It's the default and natural human state. It's just as natural for the majority of people to want to conform as it is for the weird people to go against the grain. We're talking about two different natures here, not two different decisions made from pre-existed values.

  • Excellent video and good explanation of the ideas in a book I was unaware of. Thank you.

  • 87 non-conformists disliked this video

  • Thanks! Exactly when I needed this as I am on the cusp of confusing decision… money vs passion

  • brilliant vid

  • This is seriously shallow and monolithic; No human being has ever been that simple and uncomplicated. Vickor Frankl pointed this out. Conformity is embraced as the best way to survive in an environment. When it doesn't appear so it will be dropped quickly. A whole generation of "Baby-Boomers" demonstrated that in the late 60s and 70s. Then by the 80s they had found a new equilibrium and established a conformity that was nearly as conservative as the one shunned.

  • What about people who reject the popular social outlook for a differing and less accepted social outlook? On one hand they're not conforming, but on the other hand they seek to conform.

  • Conformity is important to order, but order isn't necessarily good, and can be restrictive. An oppressively orderly society breeds within individuals a desire for rebellion, which ultimately leads to societal breakdown; thus does order beget chaos. Of course, chaos begs order, so it seems that this is an unbreakable cycle.

  • I would say not being atracted to dragons instead is an example of non-conformirty

  • the crowd? oh, i don't have a cell phone……

  • Need to break the cycle. I am and fully admit I conform even tho I hate it.slowly breaking it down off of me lifes to short to conform like others. last 2 years made me think alot after prison

  • What if part of the conformity was being non nonconforming

  • Donald Trump being whipped by displeasure… For non conforming with the powers that be and / or accepted US political norms…

  • i love this type of stuff! great video and knowledge bro✊✌☺

  • How to not conform to non conformity ?

  • well put, helped me to put ideas together. thank u very much

  • If we all listened to olde worlde sentiments and branded ourselves as conformists or non- conformists we would be much worse for it in my opinion

  • Amazing video, very well put. For those who are interested in this subject, I highly recommend "Escape From Freedom" by Erich Fromm, where amongst the other mechanisms of escape from freedom, conformity takes a significant part and creeps into people lives often undetected.

  • we need to stay together

  • The earth is flat

  • It's great to watch to all of your videos listening to the album DAVID LYNCH POLISH NIGHT MUSIC. Here's one of the songs:

  • The combination of courage and grace will lead you to nonconformity

  • amazing video …! thanks a lot

  • In this presentation there is a third way mentioned, but not developed to its full force.

    I am referring to the case in which one can not choose neither non-conformism, due to specific internal (lack of ability, talent, etc) and external constraints (severe illness, disability, grave social and economical injustice) but can neither intellectually unsee the revealed existential horror and choose conformism.

    The option hinted at as such was the person who lingers in the knowledge of his or her ephemeral and cosmically meaningless existence and as a consequence does not/can not create any sort of "immortality project", any form of "beneficial delusion" and thus secretly lives life in full knowledge and despair of one`s insignificance and life`s tragic banality. This is the "Schopenhauerian" or "Cioranesque" anti-hero, the one reviled by both the crowds and the Nietzschean nonconformists, because he or she represents the unveiled failure of any and all such projects of escaping total annihilation and insignificance.

    They are the "lost souls" everybody wish they would rather disappear. They are the ones living entire lifetimes sometimes in silent, solitary resignation, the ones who pay with an endless sense of despair, a state of conscious despondence for daring to choose seeing reality in its unmitigated, naked absurdity. They make up the odd cases of suicides as well, the cases when no tangible cause is to be found or appreciated by either the heroic nonconformists or by those self-identifying with the cultural clutches of meaning and significance.

    It can be said that these people are those who failed the non-conformist route of death-denial but also failed the conformist one as well. They can be neither, so they occupy the only place left: embracing the depressing realism of existence in defiance of their only other solution: to conform, which they can not do due to their intellectual honesty. Their only gift being, that they are the only ones who have no adaptive delusions about what reality is really like. They are the hated existential nihilists and utter pessimists, the suicidal and the cynical. They are of no "use" for maintaining either myth. No use for the social project of humanity`s immortality nor for the individualistic immortality-project of the lone genius. They are the harbingers of doom, the prophets of despair, the seers of death, the heroes of emptiness. Those loyal to Schopenhauer`s insights in defiance to both Nietzsche and the ideology-driven crowd, so to speak.

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