Monday, January 19, 2009

Conform or be cast out?

Found this over at Correntewire:

Shorter science: non-conformists are fucked.

"Our results also show that social conformity is based on mechanisms that comply with reinforcement learning and is reinforced by the neural error-monitoring activity which signals what is probably the most fundamental social mistake—that of being too different from others."

(via)

There are so many implications to this. For one thing, if you don't want to be the bunny, make sure you urinate on an officially approved schedule.

Like with any line of research, I imagine that anything remotely resembling the whole story has yet to be told, including neural mechanisms involved in nonconforming behavior - we are already aware of the social and cultural factors that influence conformity and nonconformity. In the meantime, this iconoclast continues to march to beat of his own drummer.

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