Why do people obey?

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  • Created by: Daisy
  • Created on: 18-05-12 13:05

Why do people obey?

1: Buffers

  • Are things that prevent us from seeing the consequences
  • More buffers = more obedience
  • Example: When Mr Wallace (in Milgram's experiment) was in a different room to the 'teacher' so they couldn't see the pain of the shocks they thought they were giving

2: Authoritarian personality

  • Created by Adorno
  • This person is extremely obedient to authority as an adult because of bad childhood experiences and having parents were were harsh, strict and gave regular physical punishments. This makes the child feel anger towards them, creating hostility and suspicion but has to displace it to denial, making them obedient

3: Graduate committment

  • We are committed to obey in small steps
  • Starting off with small requests and gradually increasing them (foot in the door technique) makes it really easy for people to obey
  • Real world application: Nazi doctors in death camps who were first asked to mutilate people then commit more and more horrific crimes…


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