Many investors perceive, based primarily on anecdotal evidence, that analysts do not act independently. What the authors of this Research Foundation monograph provide is a scientific exploration of the evidence on the nature and causes of security analyst conflicts. They first investigate the conventional view that analysts are optimistic in their forecasts of earnings. They then explore the extent to which this optimism is associated with employer incentives, the influence of corporate managers, and the influence of fellow analysts. This comprehensive and insightful analysis should help investors evaluate the integrity of sell-side research and help regulators adopt wise policies.