Resisting Authority

notes on resisting malevolent authority for social influence

as psychology with aqa

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Lucy Jackson
Resisting Malevolent Authority
The dangers of always obeying authority
Blind obedience can lead those involved into a situation where they feel
uncomfortable or out of control
The consequences of obeying a malevolent authority can be traumatic for those
Obedience is unwise if those obeying an authority have not considered any
potential consequences that could have a serious implication or problem to
themselves or others
Experiments have been conducted by psychologists that show people's
willingness to blindly obey when given a suitable authority figure and being
absolved from any blame
However, the reasons why people obey in such situations does not stop them
from feeling guilt or even being traumatic from what they did during the
Resisting authority
By having some prior knowledge of situations in which people have blindly
obeyed, sometimes against their wishes, it is less likely that they will fall for a
similar situation of obedience
If you are to be blamed for anything that should occur in such a situation then it
will be easier to resist since you would be held responsible
Also, if there were others around you who agreed to disobey along with you then
the pressure and the responsibility of disobeying would be spread out and make
it easier to do
By questioning how genuine the situation and the authority figure or figures are, it
is easier to disobey when found to be in a false situation
It would also be easier to disobey if by obeying you are more likely to harm
someone you know or care about
In a situation where there are multiple authority figures inferring different
instructions due to being in disagreement with each other, it would be easier to
obey the authority figure giving instructions with less harmful consequences
without directly disobeying anyone
A role model can make it easier to resist obedience since they become
someone to follow and are more likely to get the blame for disobeying.
When people are in a situation in which they feel manipulated or like they can't
control their actions, they are more likely to disobey
The past experiences of those who are being forced to obey can make it easier
to resist authority if you have suffered in some way because of them
Past experiences can make a definite difference on whether a person obeys because
of the knowledge of potential consequences of blind obedience. For example, Milgram
conducted an experiment in obedience by forcing people to give an electric shock to
another person. One person participating in this experiment refused to give any higher
than 210 volts due to his past experiences of being in a concentration camp and feeling
responsible for his actions as a result of this.

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Lucy Jackson
Milgram believed that we all have the ability to obey destructive orders!…read more


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