Obedience

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  • Obedience is a type of social influence whereby someone acts in response to a direct order from a perceived authority figure.
    • Obedience
      • Agentic State
        • If we are in an agentic state we believe that the person giving the order will take the responsibility for our actions and that we will not have to face the consequence.
        • We often still feel guilty and high levels of anxiety and stress known as 'moral strain' but feel we cant say no.
      • Legitimacy of authority
        • We obety when we feel the perceive the person gioving the order as having the right and expertyise to do so. we assume they know best.
        • Eg. Doctors prescription or instructions.
      • Social Influence
        • The process by which individuals and groups change each others behaviours.
        • Types of social influence include: Obedience, Conformity and minority influence.
      • Ethical issues
        • Protection from harm.
        • Informed consent
        • Deception
      • Ethical Guidelines
        • Protection
          • From Harm
        • Consent
          • Fully Informed
        • confidentiality
        • Withdrawal
          • From the experiment at any point even if full consent was previously given.
      • Authoritarian personality
        • A personality with belief in complete obedience and submission to authority and domination of minorities. They are very aware of social status and are uncomfortable with uncertainty. They are highly obedient and very aware of social status.
          • Adorno - believed this personality type was shaped by harsh parenting, extremely high discipline, impossibly high standards and severe criticism of any failing.
      • Milgram
        • Aim: How far people would go in obeying an instruction if it involved harming another person
        • Conducted at Yale University. Random sampling used to recuit 40 males.They believed they were taking part in an experiment on the effects of punishment on learning. The participant was always the teacher and Mr Wallace (a confederate) was always the learner though the participants beleived the roles were randomly assigned. The teacher asked a series of questions and each time the learner got the answer wrong an electric shock increasing in voltage was administered.The learner could be heard to cryn out in pain.
        • Quantitative Findings: 100% of participants administered shocks up to 300V. 65% of participants administered shocks up to 450V.
        • Qualitative Findings: participants showed extreme signs of distress. Many were seen to tremble sweat, shake and 3 even had seizures.
        • Each time the Teacher (volunteer) asked if they could stop participating in the experiment the experimenter in the white lab coat gave 4 prods.
          • 1)Please Continue.     2) The experiment requires you to continue. 3)it is absolutely essential that you continue.4)You have no other choice but to continue.
  • Situational variables
    • Autonomous
      • We are free to behave according to our own values and priciples.We feel accountable for our behaviour and actions.
    • What affects when and why people feel strongest pressure to obey
      • Proximity
        • Orders over the phone
          • Obedience dropped to 21%
      • Location
        • Run down office block instead of the prestigious Yale University.
          • Obedience dropped to 48%
      • Uniform
        • Experimenter in normal clothes rather than a white lab coat.
          • Obedience dropped to 20%

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