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Edexcel A-Level Social Psychology > Agency Theory > Flashcards

Flashcards in Agency Theory Deck (11)
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1
Q

What is the agency theory?

A

It is the theory Milgram created following his studies on obedience.

2
Q

What are the two social states that Milgram proposed?

A

Autonomous State and Agentic State

3
Q

What is the Autonomous State?

A

When we act as individuals and of our own free will. We make our own decisions and we follow our conscience .
We take responsibility for our actions.

4
Q

What is the Agentic State?

A

When we give up our free will in order to follow the orders of an authority figure.
We become an ‘agent’ of the authority figure and defer responsibility onto them.

5
Q

What is Moral Strain?

A

Negative feelings we experience when pressured to do something that goes against our values and moral compass.

6
Q

What happens when we experience moral strain?

A

We use defence mechanisms (such as denial and repression) to avoid the distress.

7
Q

What does Agency theory believe about the creation of the agentic state?

A

The theory believes we are socialised into an agentic state from a young age.

Eg: We learn to obey parents and teachers as children and become an agent to follow social rules.

8
Q

Why does Agency theory believe being an agent has evolved?

A

To avoid conflict and enable the smooth running of a society. Milgram believed that the agentic state may have had survival value.

9
Q

Name 2 strengths of Agency Theory

A

Milgram - all participants delivered an electric shock to 300 volts, 65% delivered shocks up to 450 volts

Hoffling et al - 21 out of 22 nurses obeyed the doctor’s orders and were about to administer an overdose of a medicine to a patient.

10
Q

Name 2 weaknesses of Agency Theory

A

Rank and Jacobson - 16 out of 18 nurses failed to obey orders from a doctor to administer an overdose of the drug Valium.

It does not explain individual differences such as personality, gender and situation.

11
Q

What situation can Agency Theory be applied to?

A

Holocaust and Nazi solidiers