Agency Theory

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  • Agency Theory
    • AO1
      • By Milgram
      • people are in one of two psychological states
        • Autonomous-people make their descisions based on their own ideas, beliefs and experiences accoring to free will and morals
        • Agentic state-where we ignore our morals and free will to obey orders from an authority figure, 'for the good of the group'
          • this can produce ''moral strain', when going against our morals which is resolved when we put the blame and repsonsibility onto the authority giving the orders.
            • this diffusion of responsibilty causes us to no longer moniter our own behaviour
      • you have to believe that the person giving orders has legitimate authority over them, or they will not obey
    • AO2
      • BICKMAN 974
        • found the obedience rate was 80% when the stooge was in a guard uniform. Only 40% when he wasnt in a guard uniform
      • BUSHMAN 1984
        • found that when a stooge wearing a fireman's uniform was obeyed more than when in civilian dress
      • explains why some people obey orders to the extent of harming or killing others, explains real events such as the Holocaust
      • Doesnt explain why some people don't obey orders
      • doesnt explain why charasmatic people become the authority giving the orders
      • no or little evidence that an 'agentic shift' occurs, and the processes involved in the agentic shift are not clear
      • supported by Milgram 1963 and Hofling et al in 1966


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