SOFTCAT agency theory


Supporting evidence

  • Milgram 65% obeyed original experiment - all showed moral strain

                                                                        - 'Responsibility of experimenter'

  • Gofling et al (1966) stooge doctor 21/22 administered 2x dosage 

                                                                        - 'Result of hierachial authority'

  • Calley Vietnam ordered to shoot               - 'Just following orders'

                                                                        - displacement of authority in real life


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  • Research was on experiments where participants were decived and lied to (milgram and Gofling et al 1970)
  • Causing moral strain is unethical as it cauyses distress.
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Fails to mention

  • Individual differences - why some dissent and some obey- gender, situation, personality
  • obedience is hard to measure. Obedience is more complex than what agency theory explains.
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Critical Research

  • French and Raven (1959) 5 levels of power, what motivates and influences a persons behaviour. It is a better explaination of obedience
  • Social Impact Theory (1981) Describes under what conditions we are obedient
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Application to real life

  • Work and school. Explains why we become obedient and what happens when we do. It happens in everyday life when people and complying to the demands of an authoritive figure eg parents or teachers.
  • Vietnam calley was 'just following orders'. Everyday attrocities like this.
  • Nazi's coplying to the demand of authority figure. Milgarms 65% obeying suggests this. Attrocities
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