Academics: Way More Conformist Than They’ll Admit

“‘Academics, like teenagers, sometimes don’t have any sense regarding the degree to which they are conformists.’ So says Thomas Bouchard, the Minnesota psychologist known for his study of twins raised apart.” Why is this? “You’re an expert because all your peers recognize you as such. But if you start to get too far out of line with what your peers believe, they will look at you askance and start to withdraw the informal title of ‘expert’ they have implicitly bestowed on you. Then you’ll bear the less comfortable label of ‘maverick,’ which is only a few stops short of ‘scapegoat’ or ‘pariah’.”