Example in Real Life of Obedience to Authority

Topics: Social psychology, Milgram experiment, Democracy Pages: 1 (351 words) Published: May 8, 2013
Obedience to Authority

Example in Real Life of Obedience to Authority
Millions of people were killed in Nazi Germany in concentration camps but Hitler couldn't have killed them all, nor could a handful of people. 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 for the command to be made of them. 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 meaning authority, whereas conformity happens through social pressure. Obedience involves an order of power and status. Therefore, the person giving the order has a higher status than the person receiving the order. What is obedience? What does it mean?

Obedience occurs when you change your opinions, judgments, or actions because someone in a position of authority told you to. The key aspect to note about obedience is that just because you have changed in some way, it does not mean that you now agree with the change. For example, if you are a democratic senator, and the president came to you and demanded that you vote for a something that you were not in favour, and you did go ahead and vote the way the president said, you would be obeying (or displaying obedient behaviour). However, this does not mean that you now agree with the way you voted or what you voted for, only that you did what you were told to do. To be obedient is to obey orders that have been given to you. Being obedient means you have to carry out tasks and orders without a choice, you must do it. You still have a choice with this but choose to be obedient fearing of the consequences it may approach.
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