Obedience To Authority Essay

Obedience To Authority Essay-53
(Fiske, 1993; Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003).

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As you can see in Table 6.1,”The Confederate’s Schedule of Protest in the Milgram Experiments,” the teacher heard the learner say “ugh! After the next few mistakes, when the shock level reached 150 volts, the learner was heard to exclaim “Get me out of here, please. And when the experimenter left the room and had another student (actually a confederate) give the instructions for him, obedience was also reduced to 20%.

In addition to the role of authority, Milgram’s studies also confirmed the role of unanimity in producing obedience.

Milgram was interested in understanding the factors that lead people to obey the orders given by people in authority. He then asked them what percentage of “other people” would be likely to use the highest end of the shock scale, at which point the three groups demonstrated remarkable consistency by all producing (rather optimistic) estimates of around 1% to 2%. (Eds.), International handbook of personality and intelligence.

He designed a study in which he could observe the extent to which a person who presented himself as an authority would be able to produce obedience, even to the extent of leading people to cause harm to others. The results of the actual experiments were themselves quite shocking.

The shock panel, as shown in Figure 6.9, “The Shock Apparatus Used in Milgram’s Obedience Study,” was presented in front of the teacher, and the learner was not visible in the shock room. However, in replications of the study in which the experimenter’s authority was decreased, obedience also declined.

Ap English Language And Composition Released Essays - Obedience To Authority Essay

The experimenter sat behind the teacher and explained to him that each time the learner made a mistake the teacher was to press one of the shock switches to administer the shock. In one replication the status of the experimenter was reduced by having the experiment take place in a building located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, rather than at the labs on the Yale University campus, and the research was ostensibly sponsored by a private commercial research firm instead of by the university. Hogg (Eds.), Leadership and power: Identity processes in groups and organizations (pp.

The experimenter explained that the goal of the research was to study the effects of punishment on learning. In sum, almost two-thirds of the men who participated had, as far as they knew, shocked another person to death, all as part of a supposed experiment on learning.

After the participant and the confederate both consented to participate in the study, the researcher explained that one of them would be randomly assigned to be the teacher and the other the learner. Studies similar to Milgram’s findings have since been conducted all over the world (Blass, 1999), with obedience rates ranging from a high of 90% in Spain and the Netherlands (Meeus & Raaijmakers, 1986) to a low of 16% among Australian women (Kilham & Mann, 1974).

And finally, whereas people don’t like admitting to having conformed (especially via normative social influence), they will more readily point to the authority figure as the source of their actions (especially when they have done something they are embarrassed or ashamed of).

The Stanford Prison Study and Abu Ghraib In Milgram’s research we can see a provocative demonstration of how people who have power can control the behavior of others.


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