Resisting pressure to obey

Resisting pressure to obey

Resisting pressure to obey explanations

In some cases people do not obey the authority. Psychological research has suggested several explanations for how people resist pressure to obey.

Situational factors: Elements in the environment that influence your likelihood of resisting obedience.

Dispositional factors: Elements in your personality that influence the likelihood of resisting obedience.

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This is the idea that we may resist pressure to obey if we believe that a person is trying to restrict our personal freedom. Our presponse to this might be anger and this can have a boomerang effect as the anger makes us want to rebel. E.g. friction between parents and teenagers.

HAMILTON - 13-14, harm minimisation programme, norm behaviour to do drugs (v) never do drugs, pressured = disobeying, credible.

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Low authoritarian personality

Adorno said that the authoritarian personality has the following characteristics: rigid beliefs in conventional values, general hostility to other groups, and intolerence of ambiguity and submissive attitudes towards authority figures. People with authoritarian personalities value obedience and therefore tend to be more obedient and less independent. Therefore it can be suggested that people are low in authoritarian personality characteristics are more likely to resist pressures to obey. The authoritarian personality is measure by the F scale.

Emprical evidence, MILGRAM - high shocks also scored high on the F scale, there is a link, low more likely to resist pressure, crediblie.
ALTERMEYER - reliable & valid scale, positive correlation, support, reliable.

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Locus of control

This refers to the amount of percieved control people have. Locus of Control is measured on a scale with the two extremes at either end. A person with an interal locus of control will see themselves as in control of their life events that take place. A person with an external locus of control will see themselves as being at the mercy of external forces such as luck and fate. Rotter claimed that those with an internal locus of control are more likely to resist pressure to obey. Research has uncovered a number of characteristics that are relevant to they study of independant behaviour:

  • High internals are active seekers of information that is useful to them and so are less likely to rely on opinions of others
  • High internals tend to be more achievement orientated and consequently are more likely to become leaders and entrepreneurs.
  • High internals are better able to resist the use of force or intimidation from others.
  • High internals will be more independant.
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