Why do people obey
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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


Why do people obey
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.