Clique signal

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A clique signal is anything which socially signals one's membership in a clique. Examples include:

  • verbal methods:
    • proclaiming or advocating the clique's fixed belief (a belief signal)
    • employing particular words or phrasings common only within the clique (lexical signal)
      • Example: creationists often talk about "evidences" instead of "evidence"
  • performing various cliquian customs – wearing certain clothing, performing rituals, etc.
  • discriminating against others whose beliefs appear to conflict with those of one's clique


It seems to be the case that people get into a certain mindset where they confuse loyalty to people with loyalty to ideas – they come to believe that if the group believes something, then believing something different is somehow a betrayal of the group. Every discussion becomes an opportunity to proselytize – to defend and spread the belief – rather than a search for truth. Every debate is competitive rather than truth-seeking.

Counterfactual belief-systems therefore often encourage this sort of thinking, as it is the only way their beliefs are likely to survive.