Outline and Evaluate One or More Explanations of Why People Obey

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Outline and Evaluate one or more explanations of why people obey It has been found by Milgram that people obey for four main reasons these are; legitimate authority, the momentum of compliance, the agentic shift and passivity.

The first reason that Milgram found that people obey is because people feel like they have to obey someone if they have a high social status or a highly respected job, this is called legitimate authority. Bickman (1974) supported this theory by doing an experiment on the streets of New York. Bickman had three men dress up as a policeman, a guard and a regular passerby in a shirt and tie, he then had the three men ask other passerby’s to either pay a parking fine or pick something of the floor, it was found that the policeman was generally obeyed more as he was of a highly respected profession and had legitimate authority. In Milgram’s study, the participants all obeyed the researcher because he was dressed in a lab coat with a clipboard to show his authority, but the setting of the experiment also gave the researcher authority as the setting was inside Yale University. Another support experiment was done by Hofling. Hofling found that obedience to authority is still very high as his study of the 22 nurses; all but one nurse obeyed the unknown doctor and went to administer double the allowed dose of an unknown drug. Rank and Jacobson questioned the validity of Hofling’s study for three main reasons; the first reason is that the drug the nurses were asked to administer was fictional, and it was unlikely the nurses had heard of it. The second reason is that it would also have been very unlikely that the nurses would have not heard of the ‘unknown doctor’ as it was very unlikely that the nurses wouldn’t know all the doctors in the hospital. The third reason was that the ‘unknown doctor’ rang when the nurses were all alone on the ward, which would never have happened as they would never have been completely alone without anyone to ask or...
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