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Although `conformity` can often be used in a pejorative sense in contemporary discourse, and contrasted unfavourably with terms such as innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship, studies of various societies have shown that highly cohesive groups in which people conform to relatively similar sets of values produce greater happiness and overall social welfare.
Imagine the fairly simple case of traffic laws. The notion of stopping for red lights and going for green is arbitrary, but if people do not all conform to it, accidents happen. On a larger ethical scale, if people in a given community all conform to similar social norms (including ones such as not stealing, contributing to charity, etc.) society functions much more smoothly.
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