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Why do people obey?. 4 explanations . 1: Gradual commitment. People become locked into obedience in small stages. Also known as ‘ foot in the door technique’ Once you have made some kind of commitment it is hard to go back on it. Support for this explanation:

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why do people obey

Why do people obey?

4 explanations

1 gradual commitment
1: Gradual commitment
  • People become locked into obedience in small stages.
  • Also known as ‘foot in the door technique’
  • Once you have made some kind of commitment it is hard to go back on it.
  • Support for this explanation:
    • Milgram, each voltage increase was a gradual step beyond the previous action making it difficult to back out at any time.
    • Sheridan and King Puppy experiment
2 legitimate authority
2: Legitimate authority
  • This refers to the amount of social power held by the person (authority figure) who gives the instruction
  • Most societies have a hierarchical order with some having legitimate social power to issue instructions.
  • We are socialised in the family and school to obey authority.
  • We may obey because we trust them.
  • Or because they have the power to punish us.
  • Support for this explanation:
    • Milgram
    • Hoffling - hospital experiment
3 agentic shift
3: Agentic Shift
  • It is easy to deny personal responsibility when orders come from a figure of authority because it can be assumed that they will take ultimate responsibility.
  • We become agents of an external authority.
  • We forgo out internal authority (conscience) for external authority (authority figure) and become an agent of external authority.
  • Support for this explanation:
    • Milgram
    • Hoffling Hospital experiment.
dehumanisation
Dehumanisation
  • We are more likely to obey and inflict harm on someone if we can distance ourselves from the person being a human.
  • In war people are often seen as numbers/objects.
  • Achieved by removing a person’s individuality e.g. facial features, name, clothes.
  • Evidence to support this explanation:
    • Zimbardo
slide6
Task
  • Research all the supporting evidence on the internet for each explanation.
  • Answer the following questions:
    • Describe the 4 explanations of why people obey and describe evidence which supports/ demonstrates each explanation.
    • Explain how the evidence supports the explanation.
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