A Szaszian Take on Conformity Signaling
By Bryan Caplan
From The Sheepskin Psychosis by John Keats:
By what standards do the college psychiatrists judge [would-be drop-outs] to be immature? A psychiatrist is prone to measure maturity by the degree to which an individual adapts or adjusts to, or accepts or makes his peace with, the social milieu in which he finds himself. The psychiatrist is not prone to look with favor upon the man who suggests everyone is out of step but him, or upon the man whose reaction to society is to reject it.
Notice: Keats simultaneously illustrates the facts that (a) college graduation signals conformity, because non-conformists wander off in frustration, and (b) psychiatry medicalizes a timeless clash of personality and ethics.