In any sect, no matter how intense the emphasis on unity of thought and action, different individuals are likely to vary greatly in the degree of their faith and conviction, and this variation will affect their commitment to the goals of the sect, and may even influence their understanding of these goals. The existence of internal conflicts, and of divergent or conflicting patterns of motivation and goal interpretations, may have a profound influence on the development of the group, even though such conflicts and divergences may be unrecognized or unacknowledged by the sectarians themselves. For this reason, any summary estimation of the nature and degree of consensus and conviction existing in a sect at a particular stage of its development may, if unqualified, present an oversimplified picture of the empirical reality.