Socio-psychological explanations of obedience Flashcards Preview

Psychology - Social Influence > Socio-psychological explanations of obedience > Flashcards

Flashcards in Socio-psychological explanations of obedience Deck (6)
Loading flashcards...

What is the agency theory?

When someone is ordered by an authority figure to do something which they believe to be wrong, they experience moral strain.


What is moral strain ?

Moral strain refers to a conflict between the need to obey authority and the need to do the morally right thing.


Evaluation of the agency theory

- Milgram's study offers research support for the notion of the agent state _ ppts denied personal responsibility for their actions as they were doing what. they were told.

- Agency theory fails to explain the gradual and irreversible conversion process that Lifton (1986) observed in Nazi doctors working in Auschwitz. _ many nazi doctors bevies that. the experiments carried out on Jewish prisoners were justified and morally correct.


Legitimacy of authority explanation -

We learn from an early age that those higher in the social hierarchy should be obeyed. The more legitimate someone's authority seems to be, the more likely we are to obey them.


What factors increase an authority figure's legitimacy?

job role


Tarnow's research support for the legitimacy of authority explanation -

Studies black box recordings of 37 plane crashes.

19 of these 37 were due to the co pilot accepting their pilots' obvious error in judgement.

This shows that legitimacy of authority influences obedience.