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Humans were born to be conformists. Conforming to the law of the land is what has brought peace and order to chaos. In fact, conformity is in our genes. The desire to fit in is so overwhelming and instinctive that when people find their behaviour to be conflicting with their group, their brain mechanisms motivate them to alter their behaviour to match their peers. In psychological terms, this is known as the ‘reward prediction error’ signal. In other words, our dopamine neurons send signals that cover three possible errors in predicting a reward: that the reward was better than expected (a positive error); that the reward was exactly as expected (no error); or that the reward was less than expected (a negative error). It is in case of a negative error that the dopamine neurons tend to shut down. (1)(2)(3)
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