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PSYCHOLOGY PAPER 1-Social influence > Obedience to authority > Flashcards

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What is obediance to authority

-behaving as instructed, usually in response to individual rather than group pressure, often in a hierachy where the instructor is of higher status so the individual feels unable to resist or refuse to obey, though their private opinion is unlikely to change
-in obediance, the emphasis is on power. Behaviour is in responses to authority rather than peers


Milgram (1963) obediance to authority aim

-to see if individuals would obey the orders of an authority figure that incurred negative consequences and went against one's moral code


Milgram (1963) obediance to authority method

-40 American males responded to a newspaper advert seeking volunteers for a study of 'memory'
-the experimenter wore a lab coat
-each pp was intoduced to a confederate, acting like a pp
-they drew lots to see who would act as 'teacher' abd 'learner'-but pp was always teacher
-pp witnessed the confederate being strapped in a chair connected to a fake shock generator
-pp thought the generator was real
-the pp taught rthe learner word-pairs over an intercom
-if the learner answered incorrectly, the pp had to give them an increasing level of shock
-after 300V, the learner made no further responses
-if pp hesitated, experimenter told them to continue
-debriefing afterwards involved an interview, questionnaires and being reunited with the 'learner'


Milgram (1963) obediance to authority results

-26 pp (65%) administered 450V and none stopped before administering 300V
-most pp showed obvious signs of stress like sweating, groaning and trembling


Milgram (1963) obediance to authority conclusion

-obediance to authority is due to situational factors (the experiment setting, status of the experimenter, pressure to continue)
-ordinary people will obey orders to hurt someone else. We will obey orders that distress us


Milgram (1963) obediance to authority evaluation

-no right to withdraw-pps felt like they had to do it
-psychological damage e.g. digging nails into skin
-deception-pp was decieved into thinking what he was doing was fine
-androcentric-males used
-ecological validity-task unlikely to occur in real life-study lacks ecological validity
-lab experiement-control of variables-establish cause and effect
-sample shock given-supports internal validity


Ethical issues with Milgram's study

-Deception-Milgram deceieved his pps because he said the study concerned learning and memory
-right to withdraw-no explicit right to withdraw was given to the pps before the study
-Psychological harm-Milgram accused of exposing his pps to severe stress e.g. some had seizures


Orne and Hollan (1968)

-argued Milgram's research lacked experimental realism as it was not believable. They thought msny of the pps did think the electric shocks were not genuine
-argued that the research lacked mundane realism because it was set in a controlled setting


Burger (2009)

-developed a variation of Milgram's study but protected well being of pps
-70 makes and females used, maximum shock 150V
-obediance rate of 70%-no difference between males and females
-it is possible to replicate Milgram's study
-this study highlights the difficulties of extending research on destructive obediance


What situational factors, identified by Milgram, affect obediance

-proximity of the victim
-location of the experiment


Situational factors that affect obediance-proximity of the victim

-this is how aware individuals are of the consequences of their actions in obeying authority figures
-when the physical distance between teacher and learner in Milgram's study was made closer, pps were in less control of the consequences of their actions-obedience rates were lower


Situational factors that affect obediance-research for proximity of the victim

Milgram (1974)
-found that when teacher and learner were in the same room, obedience declined from 62.5% to 40%
-obedience fell to 30% when the teacher forced the learner's hand on the plate


Situational factors that affect obediance-location of the experiement

-the location of an environment can be relevant to the amount of perceived legitmate authority a person giving orders is seen to have
-obedience rates higher when the location adds to the perceieved legitimacy of an authority figure
-Milgram's study was in Yale Uni which was a high status insitution


Situational factors that affect obediance-research for location of the experiement

Milgram (1974)-variation of study
-took place in an office block in a run down part of town
-obedience dropped to 47.5% from 62.5%
-changes in location reduced the perceived legitimacy of the authority figure giving the orders


Situational factors that affect obediance-uniform

-the wearing of uniforms can give a perception of added legitimacy to authority figures when delivering orders-increasing obedience rates of Milgram's experiment


Situational factors that affect obediance-research for uniform

Bickman (1974)
-found that when ordering people to pick up rubbish:
-19% would obey when he was wearing civilian clothes
-14% dressed as a milkman
-38% security guard-more obeyed as believed he was a legitimate authoiryt figure


Why do people obey

-legitimacy of authority
-gradual commitment
-buffers-preventing person seeing consequences of their actions


Situational vs dispositional

-situational is where a person's actions are caused by the situation they are in-the environment (external)
-dispositional is where a person's actions are caused by their internal characteristics (internal)
-these do not necessarily work in isolation to each other-obedience could be caused by 2 or more factors


What two features of a situation did Milgram identify that make people more likely to obey

-legitimacy of authority-situational
-agentic state-sitiational


What is the autonomous state (agency theory)

When an individual does have control and acts according to their own wishes, they are said to be in an AUTONOMOUS STATE and see themselves personally responsible for their actions


What is the agentic state (agency theory)

-When an individual obeys an authority figure they give up some free will and enter an AGENTIC STATE where they see themselves as an agent of the authority figure giving the order
-the authority figure is responsible for the consequences of the individual's actions-a person becomes deindividuated, and so may obey orders that go against ther moral code


Milgram (1974)-research for autonomous state

-reported that in a ‘remote authority’ variation of his procedure when the confederate researcher wasn’t in the same room as the teacher, but gave orders via a telephone link, obedience declined to 20.5%
-suggests that pps were in the autonomous state and saw themselves as responsible for their actions-could explain why there was a low obedience rate


Milgram (1963)-research for agentic state

-reported that many pps were under moral strain-during debriefing many pps admitted they knew what they were doing was wrong (evident on the footage)
-they continued to obey, which suggests that they were in an agentic state and felt they have to obey the orders of a higher ranking authority figure


Evaluation of agency theory

-Not all pps in an agentic state. Most experienced a strong conflict between own conscience and demands of the experimenter
-Experimenter always telling PP he was responsible​ when asked
-Substantial reduction in obedience when participants were told that they were responsible​
-Role of individual differences ignored
-some people resist the pressure to obey authority-agency theory doesn't explain why some people are more likely to resist pressure to obey than others§


Explain legitimacy of authority, as a factor that affects obedience

-Obedient individuals accept the power and status of authority figures to give orders; they are seen as being in charge
-We learn that those higher in the social hierarchy should be obeyed. Doing one’s perceived duty


Research for legitimacy of authority

Milgram (1963)
-reported that some pps in his study ignored the learner’s apparent distress- they just focused on the procedure
-they could be seent to be doing their ditu and recognising the legitimate authoiryt of the researcher


Dispositional factors the affect obedience-authoritarian personality

-personality characteristics are associated with higher levels of obedience


Fromm (1941)

said that authoritarian personality is characterised by a belief is absolute obedience, submission to auhtority and deominance of minorities


Adorno (1950

saw people of this type as having a belief in a need for power and toughness, which leads them to be highly obedient to authority figures and more likely to be prejudice


How is an individual's degree of authoritarian personality measured

-Adorno constructed the F-scale questionnaire, which has 30 questions assessing nine personality dimensions