psychology milgram's study on obedience

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  • Created by: zun
  • Created on: 02-02-14 21:37

milgram's study on obedience

as humans we are social creatures. we need to interact with people regardless of whether we are social or anti-social, and deprevation is classed as one of the worst types of cruelty. previous studies have showed that people away from social intercation begin to hallucinate and dream to compensate for the lack of interaction with others. this implies that interaction with others guides our behaviour. if we need something from others we will socially interact with them to get what we want. an example would be spending time with someone you are not fond of, just to prevent yourself from being on your own.

the topic of social psychology is diveded into two sub-areas.

first- social interaction is concerned with how we interact with each other and how our position in society has a strong effect on the type of behaviour we demonstrate.also taking into account the factors that effect behaviour including past experineces and the roles we play or our percieved vulnerability. we may all seem unique but there are aspects of behaviour that we share and can even predict how we would behave.

second- social cognition involves how we think and feel about current social experiences and how we try to make sense of them, much of which is affeced by past memories.

what is obedience?

being obedient means that we give up our personal responsibility to make decisions and go along wih the decisions of an authority figure as to how we should act and what we should do. there are a number of reasons why we are obedient;

  • self-preservation

first, even though the authorative figure may have some legitimate power over you, you are still obeying for your own welfare incase harm were to occur to you.this can be taken into extreams where in the army, soliders may be court-martialled if they do not do as they are told.

  • socialisation

we have been taught to behave and obey as this is the generally what we have been taught and to disobey if frowned upon in society.not being obedient is drawing the disapproval of others because obedience is taught from a yound age by authority figures who have our best interests at heart.

what is wrong with being obedient?

stanley milgrim " it must not be thought all obedience entails acts of aggression against others. obedience serves numerous productive function...obedience may be ennobling and educative and refer to acts of charity and kindness as well as to destruction". but the kind of obedience looked at in this study is to do with obedience in the act of hurting and causing death to people by blindly following orders.examples include the holocaust and the vietnam war. studies show that the soldiers who carried out these atrocities were not always amoral monsters.

eichmann was perhaps one of the worst offenders in the second world war, he was responsible for the arrangement of the transportation of the jews. another is william calley who took part in a…


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