Milgrams Agency Theory + Evaluation

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  • Created by: mimipopx
  • Created on: 16-04-16 12:05
What is Moral Strain?
When people become uncomfortable with their behaviour because they feel it is wrong and goes against their values.
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What relieves moral strain?
The shift into an agentic state relieves this moral strain.
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What is the agentic state?
being under the control of someone else meaning you will obey their orders even if it causes you distress
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What is the autonomous state?
being under ones own control and having the power to make your own decisions
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What does Milgram suggest?
Milgram suggests that people have 2 states of behaviour when they are in a social sitiation- agentic and autonomous.
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What did milgram observe about the social system?
that it is heirachial which must have evolved from a survival function
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what effect did he believe this had?
a stabalising effect on society
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Where did milgram believe acting agentically came from?
from parents and schools
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What two things must be in place for a person to act agentically?
1. the person giving the order is seen as legitimate. 2.the person believes that the authority is responsible for what happens
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Who is legitimate?
This can change for every person- it could be somebody in a uniform or simply anybody giving orders.
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Weakness?
The theory does not take into account dispositional factors such as personality, therefore the theory may be incomplete
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Weakness?
could have negative social implications in that leaders could be trained to manipulate people into an Agentic state in order to make them obey and commit undesired acts.
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Strength?
The findings of the variations on Milgram’s study REINFORCE the theory, because the less the participants were agent the less they obeyed.
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Strength?
It explains a wide range of social behaviours, furthermore, the idea of moral strain explains Milgram’s finding that the minority of dissenters in his studies showed signs of stress while deciding to obey but not after making the decision to obey.
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Weakness?
The theory is more of DESCRIPTION than an explanation.
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Strength?
The theory helps to explain REAL LIFE situations such as the Holocaust and My Lai Massacre, where obedience was well beyond what would be expected of autonomous human beings
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Weakness?
It does not neatly explain the ability of leaders to command obedience from subordinates.
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Strength?
Hofling et al- administer a drug to a patient in a way that would break many hospital guidelines. 21/22 nurses obeyed, the majority of nurses displaced their personal responsibility onto the doctor.
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Strength?
Gupta 27.6% of obedient males accepted responsibility for their actions compared to 49.4% of those who were not obedient. 52% of obedient males placed responsibility on the experimenter.
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Strength?
Blass and Schmitt participants identified two main factors in milgrams studies; legitimate position as a scientist and expertise. This partially supports agency theory.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What relieves moral strain?

Back

The shift into an agentic state relieves this moral strain.

Card 3

Front

What is the agentic state?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is the autonomous state?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What does Milgram suggest?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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