It could also explain why people follow fashion trends or join religious groups and even the rise of extreme political movements like the Nazis and Soviet communism.
"We often change our decisions and judgements to conform with normative group behaviour," said study leader Dr Vasily Klucharev, from the FC Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging in the Netherlands. "However, the neural mechanisms of social conformity remain unclear."
Dr Klucharev believed social conformity might be the result of conflict, with group opinion triggering a "prediction error" signal in the brain."
This may explain why, when you go against the grain, people feel uncomfortable. At best they make excuses for you, at worst they right you off as some kind of nutter or clueless idiot. People fear what doesn´t fit in!
Our horses, including stallions, live out in herds. We don´t ride our youngsters until they are at least 5 years-old, and when we do we do so barefoot and bitless. One of the facilities we have here is a Round Pen. I have also studied the "courses/DVD´s" of a couple of different NH clinicians. Because of this many people have presumed I wave a long stick and rope at my horses, or I sit on the ground whilst the horse slobbers all over me. They also presume that I ride without any contact or collection and do so for just a short potter around the countryside (after all my horses have no shoes on so they can´t possibly go far!).
But then some people see photos or videos of us riding, or have a fleeting glance into one of our horses being schooled, or they see the horse of a client being ridden in a bit, and they see the shelves full of trophies won in endurance competition on our barefoot horses, and we fall out of their box. They don´t know where we (I) belong and nor do I. This is not important to me, which further aggravates the confusion of others.
I am constantly researching and learning so the likelihood of ever falling into a specific category is pretty damned slim. This does not make me ´special´ or a fool or mean I have any delusions as to my abilities. What it does mean is that I am open to change, to new information, I will not accept anything on face value, so I deal with each and everything in my path as something new and unique.
That is why I am so happy that there are so many others out there, like myself, only far better qualified, who also keep researching and thoroughly investigating any and everything that may affect our horses in any way. From new saddle designs and fits to the methods used to school horses. So I am sure you can imagine how very interesting I found this article on the role of ethology in round pen horse training. I hope it will make quite a few consider that it is not so important to be pigeon holed.