Is Conformity a Good or Bad Thing?

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Conformity can be seen as good or bad depending on the individual and what he is conforming to. Human beings naturally have a desire to conform to feel accepted, and those who deviate from the norm are often viewed negatively.

Conformity can exist as an obvious social pressure, or it can be an unconscious influence. According to Psychology Today, individuals rely on informative and normative cues to determine how to best conform in a situation. These positive and negative influences that people are subject to throughout life can cause them to commit good and terrible behaviors. Although all people are influenced by conformity, younger people are more susceptible to its constant pressures. Positive conformity can lead people to adopt good attitudes, cultural beliefs and upright values. Conformity to rebellious social attitudes can cause people to rebel against authorities and engage in shameful or illegal activities.

A certain level of conformity is required to operate any successful society. Citizens are expected to conform with current norms to fit it with other members of the community and create harmony. Conformity on some level can be seen a threat to genuine individuality, and non-conformists seek to remain unique by operating outside of the norm. Those who do not conform may also be viewed as outcasts or perceived as troublesome individuals.