Milgram's Agency Theory

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  • Created by: nadia
  • Created on: 12-04-13 16:44



We can be in an agentic state or an autonomous state. Milgram said that behaviour comes under the two. Being in an agentic state means we act as an agent for a recognised authority figure and carry out their orders. This state also causes moral strain where the person acts against their conscious and do something they know to be wrong and the consequences of doing so. The opposite of this is the autonomous state and Milgram says that in this state, we act and think freely and have to take responsibility for our own actions. We are programmed into an agentic state from a young age and taught that it is correct. For example, parents teaching a child to obey them and their teachers due to them having authority of it.


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