Obedience to authority

This is a public service of the University of California. Social psychologist Stanley Milgram researched the effect of authority on obedience. He concluded people obey either out of fear or out of a desire to appear cooperative--even when acting against their own better judgment and desires. Milgram recruited subjects for his experiments from various walks in life.

Obedience to authority

Saul McLeodpublished "Be quiet! How often have you heard this, or something like it? Obedience to authority hear or come across commands, instructions, directions and orders everyday. What is it that makes us obey or disobey them? What made all those people follow the orders they were given?

Were they afraid, or was there something in their personality that made them like that? In order to obey authority, the obeying person has to accept that it is legitimate i. Obedience is a form of social influence where an individual acts in response to a direct order from another individual, who is usually an authority figure.

It is assumed that without such an order the person would not have acted in this way. Obedience occurs when you are told to do something authoritywhereas conformity happens through social pressure the norms of the majority. Therefore, the person giving the order has a higher status than the person receiving the order.

Real Life Example of Obedience Adolf Eichmann was executed in for his part in organizing the Holocaust, in which six million Jewish people, as well as gypsies, communists and trade unionists were transported to death camps and murdered in Nazi Germany and surrounding countries under Nazi control.

Eichmann was a logistical genius whose part in the Holocaust was the planning of the efficient collection, transportation and extermination of those to be killed.

Real Life Example of Obedience

At his trial inEichmann expressed surprise at being hated by Jewish people, saying that he had merely obeyed orders, and surely obeying orders could only be a good thing.

Eichmann was declared sane by six psychiatrists, he had a normal family life and observers at his trial described him as very average. Given that there appears to be nothing particularly unusual about Eichmann, we must face the uncomfortable possibility that his behavior was the product of the social situation in which he found himself, and that under the right circumstances we may all be capable of monstrous acts.

Following the Second World War - and in particular the Holocaust - psychologists set out to investigate the phenomenon of human obedience.

Early attempts to explain the Holocaust had focused on the idea that there was something distinctive about German culture that had allowed the Holocaust to take place. In one of the most famous series of experiments in psychology Milgram demonstrated that most participants would give a helpless victim fatal electric shocks when ordered to.

Milgram later ran a number of variations to the basic study, to find out more about the particular factors which might influence obedience.

Obedience to authority

How to reference this article:Obedience is a part of the foundation of society. Without obedience, naught would exist but chaos and anarchy. Without stability, productivity and the well-being of the citizens become non-existent.

Because of this, one must question how obedient. The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram.

They measured the willingness of study participants, men from a diverse range of occupations with varying levels of education. CHAPTER 1. The Dilemma of Obedience. Obedience is as basic an element in the structure of social life as one can point to.

Some system of authority is a requirement of all communal living, and it is only the man dwelling in isolation who is not forced to respond, through defiance or submission, to the commands of others. Why is it so many people obey when they feel coerced?

Exodus 19:5

Social psychologist Stanley Milgram researched the effect of authority on obedience. He concluded people obey either out of fear or out of a desire to appear cooperative--even when acting against their own better judgment and desires.

Free Essay: Obedience to Authority Today our society raises us to believe that obedience is good and disobedience is bad. We are taught that we should all do.

The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram.

They measured the willingness of study participants, men from a diverse range of occupations with varying levels of education.

Milgram experiment - Wikipedia