Explainations of why people obey Authority

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  • Created by: jessmitch
  • Created on: 12-02-14 17:00
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  • Explainations of Why People Obey
    • Gradual Commitment
      • Once a participant has already administered a low level shock, it becomes harder to resist the experimenters orders.
      • Having become committed to the course of action, it is harder for P's to change their mind.
    • Role of Buffers
      • Buffers in Milgram's Study included - the 'teacher' being unable to see the 'learner'.
      • The teacher did not have to witness or see the consequences of their actions
      • When the teacher could see the consequences their actions had, they were more resistant to obedience.
    • Agentic Shift
      • 'The condition a person is in when he sees himself as an agent for carrying out another's wishes'
      • The individual no longer views themselves as acting out for their own purposes, rather an agent for another's wishes.
    • Justification
      • The justification of why the teacher had to give the shocks to the patient was 'it improved memory in learning'.
      • P's that tried to quit the task were told 'The experiment requires that you continue'.
      • The actions they were being asked to carry out had been justified by the 'experimenter', e.g. for the good of science (offered ideology).
    • Diffusion of Responsibility
      • If the teacher feels the responsibility has been passed onto the experimenter, they are more likely to obey.
      • By the experimenter offering subtle prods to continue, the responsibility has been moved from the teacher to experimenter.


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