Why people Obey

Full info on why people obey!!!

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: arun
  • Created on: 19-09-10 03:27
Preview of Why people Obey

First 632 words of the document:

Why people obeyed in situations set by Milgram and Asch?
Socialization ­ most of time in our lives, especially in from a young age, we are taught to obey
people with authority like parents and teachers. Since it is at a young age, we automatically
believe it without any question and so we follow that for the rest of our lives.
Legitimate Authority ­ this means that people, even in our teenage years or adult years, whom
we think has authority like the white lab coat experimenter in Milgram' s study, and we choose
to believe what that authority figure says. Also, for example, we may obey a traffic police man
unquestioningly as we know that he/she has the knowledge to control the traffic.
Gradual commitment ­ for example, in the Milgram study, the voltage was increased on a scale
of 15 volts which means there was a gradual increase. Basically, as the voltage got higher, the
participants didn't feel as if the learner will be hurt.
Buffers ­ As the participants can't see the learners directly, the way in which they give the
shocks has a very high impact. If they see the learner suffering (in this case, no one was
suffering) then they would probably try to stop the experiment as soon as possible but if they
don't see it, they might as well not care about the learner. Also in this way, Milgram didn't make
the participants feel responsible for the learner, otherwise they would have reacted to what is
happening and the experiment would be stopped early.
Punishment ­ People could obey to the authority figures they see as in the past, especially
when they were children, they could have had punishments about not obeying authority figures
like police, doctors, parent s or teachers. So, when they grow up, they will still obey authority
figures as they wouldn't want to be punished. In terms of adult age, an example can be when on
the road driving, if you don't stop at a red light the police could punish you by putting you in jail
or giving you a fine so from the experience in childhood, you will automatically obey authorities
like police.
Uniform ­ When people are in uniform, other people usually tend to obey them without any
question. This is because they see an authority and superiority in them. Also when these figures
are close or you know they are around, you usually tend to follow and obey rules. (Stanford
Prison Experiment 1971).
Social Upbringing ­ Although this is a minor reason, the way people, especially in their
childhood, are brought up, can have a difference to their personality and behavior when they
grow up.
Learning from Society ­ People, when they see other people get hurt for situations they are
also applicable for, they automatically learn to obey those rules. For example when in traffic, you
see a person getting fined for crossing the red light and you have done it as well but haven't got
caught, the next time you see a red light, you will stop as you remember what had happened to
another person for crossing the red light.
Internalization with the group ­ Another reason can be that people can be internalized with a
group and so they follow and obey norms and rules the group sets. For example, a student who
is passive for dance and has joined the dance competition at school where the captain
choreographs and teaches people, that student will obey the leader as to the choreography and

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Understanding the situation ­ People may also obey the rules and norms as they could have
understood the situation and have also analyzed it to think that the rule is right and so they obey
these rules.
Going along with the crowd - There could also be situations where people conform to obey
like in a crowd/protest demonstration. When the people say move and the crowd goes along
with the people telling you to move, you just obey by conformity.…read more



A lovely summary of the reasons behind obedience in Milgram and Asch's studies. This would suit A Level (AQA) Psychology students as well as GCSE!

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all resources »