Agency Theory

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By who and when was Agency Theory written?
Milgram 1974
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What is it used to describe?
why we are obedient to authority
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What happens during childhood?
we are socialised into the agentic state so surrendering our free will and acting in the best interest of the group
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Describe the agentic state.
acting against our conscience to obey authority and do what is 'best' for the group. It makes us feel guilt which we overcome using defence mechanisms
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Describe the automonous state.
We act accoring to our own conscience therefore possibly against the best interests of the group or authority
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What are the two states?
agentic and automonous
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Name and describe three defence mechanisms.
Denial- pretending that a problem doesn't exist. Displacement- redirecting emotions. Regression- going back to child-like behaviour.
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What did the theory conclude?
We learn to be obedient to authority by recognising it, by clothing, behaviour, etc.
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Give an example.
doctor-lab coat-degree-gives diagnosis-so authoritative over other healthcare professional
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Evaluate the strengths.
-supported by empirical theory. -supported by Hofling et al. -supported by Milgram 1963 study. -supported by M&R. -supported by Milgrams variations.
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Evaluate the weaknesses.
-circular. -Burley & McGuinness found obedience differed with social intelligence. -Hofling showed moral strain isn't always experienced. -charismatic leadership.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is it used to describe?


why we are obedient to authority

Card 3


What happens during childhood?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Describe the agentic state.


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Describe the automonous state.


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