obedience; dispositional explanations

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  • Obedience: Dispositional explanations
    • Adorno - wanted to understand the anti-Semitism of the Holocaust
      • different conclusions to Milgram
        • obedience was a psychological disorder and tried to locate the causes in the personality of the individual
    • Procedure
      • Adorno investigated the causes of the obedient personality
        • 2000 middle-class white Americans and their unconscious attitudes towards other racial groups
      • Facism Scale - measures authoritarian personality
        • "obedience and respect for authority are the most important virtues children should learn"
        • "love, gratitude and respect for his parents is important"
    • Findings
      • people with authoritarian learnings identified with strong people and were contemptuous of the weak
      • Were conscious of their own and others' status, showing excessive respect, deference and servility to those of higher status
      • authoritarian people had a cognitive style where there was no fuziness between categories of people - with fixed stereotypes about others
        • positive correlation between authoritarian peersonality and prejudice
    • Authoritarian characteristics
      • extreme respect for authority and are submissive to it
      • show contempt for people they percieve have an inferior status & have high conventional attitudes towards sex, race and gender
      • believe in strong powerful leaders to enforce tradditional values & everything is either right or wrong
    • Origin of the authoritarian personality
      • formed in childhood; result of harsh parenting
      • parenting style; extreme discipline, expectation of loyalty, high standards, criticism
      • characterised by conditional love; depending on behaviour of child
        • these experiences create resentment and hostlity but cannot express feelings to parents
          • fears are displaced onto others who are percieved as weaker
            • scapegoating
              • psycho-dynamic explanation


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