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Better Your Life (Collection) by John Maketa, Heather Ishikawa, Russ Hall, Stewart Emery, Judy Chartrand, Richard Paul, Linda Elder

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Day Five. Don’t Be a Conformist: Think for Yourself

Living a human life entails membership in a variety of human groups. This typically includes one’s nation, culture, profession, religion, family, and peer group. We find ourselves participating in groups before we are aware of ourselves as living beings, in virtually every setting in which we function as persons. Further, every group to which we belong has a social definition of itself and unspoken “rules” that guide the behavior of all members. Each group to which we belong imposes a level of conformity on us as a condition of acceptance. This includes a set of beliefs, behaviors, requirements, and taboos.

Research shows that people, to varying degrees, accept as right and correct whatever ...

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