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For example, suppose Dave always did whatever his brothers would do. He would join sport teams which his friends joined and would root for whatever team the majority of the crowd would root for. He is...?

marked as duplicate by NVZ, FumbleFingers single-word-requests Nov 2 '16 at 17:01

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  • "He is a sheep" ? – MorganFR Nov 2 '16 at 16:17
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    Or "he is sheeplike." – MorganFR Nov 2 '16 at 16:23
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    My decision to hang around with my friends or even brothers is a decision alright, and very much my own. And not the worst one at that, I should note. I am not sure who you think you are to decide that my decisions are not decisions. I know my brothers. I don't know you. So I'm terribly sorry but I guess I'll hang out with them, mate. You don't get to tell me that I should hang out with someone else instead. That, indeed, would be your decision as opposed to my own. – RegDwigнt Nov 2 '16 at 16:26
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    This question is not exactly a duplicate as marked. This is about (possibly clear decision-making for) conforming whereas Word or Phrase for “Easily Swayed” is about the lack of decision-making ability. – alwayslearning Nov 2 '16 at 18:03
  • @FumbleFingers I agree with alwayslearning. Actually, I bet the brothers never asked Dave to come along; Dave just followed their lead, potentially in spite of their protests otherwise. – Laurel Nov 2 '16 at 19:37

Dave is "dependent", and he suffers from Dependent personality disorder, subtype "selfless"

  • Dependent personality disorder It is characterized by at least 3 of the following: encouraging or allowing others to make most of one's important life decisions; subordination of one's own needs to those of others on whom one is dependent, and undue compliance with their wishes; unwillingness to make even reasonable demands on the people one depends on; feeling uncomfortable or helpless when alone, because of exaggerated fears of inability to care for oneself; preoccupation with fears of being abandoned by a person with whom one has a close relationship, and of being left to care for oneself; limited capacity to make everyday decisions without an excessive amount of advice and reassurance from others.

  • subtype selfless - Merges with and immersed into another; is engulfed, enshrouded, absorbed, incorporated, willingly giving up own identity; becomes one with or an extension of another.

  • This was my initial thought too, but it's a serious clinical diagnosis that has a bunch of other baggage, such as low self-esteem and separation anxiety. However, the behavior in question is fairly normal, and is also developmentally appropriate in children. – Laurel Nov 2 '16 at 17:08

He's a copycat:

a person or thing that copies, imitates, mimics, or follows the lead of another, as a child who says or does exactly the same as another child.

  • +1 for a different point of view which also fits the bill. – Centaurus Nov 2 '16 at 23:30

Sounds like Dave (in the example) is conformist (adjective) or is a conformist (noun).


1. a person who adopts the attitudes, behaviour, dress, etc of the group to which he belongs

3. of a conforming nature or character

Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers

conformist graded adjective & adjective
Someone who is conformist behaves or thinks like everyone else rather than doing things that are original.

⇒ He may have to become more conformist if he is to prosper again.
⇒ Mr Gordon now feels forced into an ever more conformist way of running his practice.
A conformist is someone who is conformist.

COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers


It really depends on the motive of Dave. He could be labeled as:

  • sheeplike
  • tractable

He could be called a:

  • sycophant
  • bigot
  • loyalist

The word knee-jerk also comes to mind.


He's a lemming, or lemming-like

noun a small, short-tailed, thickset rodent related to the voles, found in the Arctic tundra.

a person who unthinkingly joins a mass movement, especially a headlong rush to destruction. "the flailings of the lemmings on Wall Street"

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