not yet know what mix of factors separate the conformers from the nonconformers under the various conditions. The utilitarian, coordinative, solidarity, ethical, reality, and self-regard factors in most acts of conformity versus resistance are, in my judgment, quite complex. Given this list of factors, it is not surprising that, for example, the subjects in Asch's line-judging experiment were deeply disturbed by discrepancies between their own and their fellows' judgments. That disturbance surely reflected, in part, their puzzlement about reality considerations. But they must also have been perplexed about possible concrete rewards and costs, group incoordination, demonstrating "good membership," the ethics of their fellows, and the consequences of their verbalizations for their self-regard. This multidimensional perspective leads me to warn against blithely oversimplified and, too often, cynically misanthropic interpretations of conformity.
By now the reader will probably have been overdosed on the friendly spirits and my stories. However, in these comments I have not exaggerated my feelings about how and why my career proceeded as it did. It is clear to me that the course of my work and the roster of people I've worked with have been influenced very much by various chance events and timely opportunities. Perhaps the stories suggest that the process of my work -- the interactions, meetings, working groups -- are more salient in my memories than are the results of that work. That is not entirely correct. I have decided not to use this occasion to lay out the cumulative results of the theoretical work that John Thibaut and I began and that I continue to this day. In that regard, I'm hoping that the benevolent causal structure of my world will continue to be what it has been in the past and that there will be a few more smiles from the friendly spirits. But that is to challenge fate, and I do better to wish for the spirits to smile on the future of social psychology.
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