Obedience factors

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  • Obedience
    • Explanations
      • Agentic State
        • autonomous mode
          • responsible for our own behaviour
          • act accordingly to the law
            • responsible for our own behaviour
        • pass responsibility of actions onto authority figure
        • no longer feel accountable for actions
          • can act in ways not possible in autonomous mode
        • RESEARCH
          • Milgram - p's reluctant to go on, when assured they were not responsible for actions, they continued
          • REAL LIFE
            • Eichmann. Following orders. Blame authority fig.
      • Legitimacy of Authority
        • obey those with authority
          • assume they know what they're doing
        • power to punish us
          • uniform
        • RESEARCH
          • Milgram - seedy office. Obedience 65% - 48%
            • Yale Uni- higher perception of legitimate authority
          • Bickmann - 92% obedience when in uniform compared to 49% in ordinary clothes
    • Situational Variables
      • Proximity
        • how close the person is to the consequencesof their actions when obeying authority fig.
        • the further away from consequences= the more likely to obey
        • closeness of participant to experimenter
          • less pressure to obey if not near experimenter
        • RESEARCH
          • Milgram - teacher & learner same room, obedience 40%
          • teacher force learners hand onto electric place, obedience 30%
          • experimenter delivered instructions by telephone, obedience 20%
      • Location
        • locations increase perceived legitimacy of authority
          • obedience to authority fig greater if in prestigious location
        • RESEARCH
          • Milgram - seedy office. Obedience 65% - 48%
      • Uniform
        • gives perception of greater authority
        • RESEARCH
          • Milgram - white lab coat established authority
          • Bickmann - 92% obedience when in uniform compared to 49% in ordinary clothes
    • Dispositional Factors
      • the Authoritarian Personality
        • certain personality traits make people more likely to obey?
        • Adorno
          • Procedure: interviewed 2,000 students (American) about political beliefs & childhood experiences & used tests to gain access into their thoughts to see if racially prejudiced.
          • Results: people bought up with strict parents & harsh physical punishments grew up more obedient.
          • Conclusions: harsh physical punishments make child angry & hostile towards parents, then displaced onto others (usually weaker)
          • 'f scale' - questionnaire to measure authoritarian personality
        • RESEARCH
          • Zillmer - 16 Nazi war criminals scored highly on 'f scale'. Shows links to obedience
          • Elms & Milgram - highly obedient p's in Milgram study score higher on 'f scale' than those with lower obedient rates


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