Social Psychology Phenomena: Obedience to Authority

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Social Psychology Phenomena: Obedience to Authority
Obedience is a social psychology phenomenon where people willingly do something to obey a certain figure of authority that instructed them to do something that conflicted with their moral sense. People obey those authority figures because they believe that they have lesser intellectual, power, experience or position than that figure. Obedience comes in many different forms, for example obedience to law, obedience to god, obedience to social norms or obedience to spouse or parent. In some situations our obedience is taken for granted and in turn we rarely question our obedience (Wren, 1999). There are many studies about obedience to authority, each studies experimenting in different situation. The most well known experiment of obedience is the infamous Milgram experiment, because it brings a lot of controversies and some ethics issues. It was the first study of obedience after the World War II, conducted by Stanley Milgram, when he was a psychologist at Yale University on the year of 1961. And he conducted various study about obedience ever since.Milgram urge to study obedience on human was trigger by his concern about the Holocaust (Blass, 1998) and the case of Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi soldier, whom also known as one of the major organizer of the Hollocaust (Geothals, 2003). Milgram himself is Jewish, and he wondered how Nazis managed to get ordinary people to do such immoral action, which was mass murder of Holocaust.Eichmann stated that he was a soldier in a system that expected compliance to authority and that he was obeying orders (Martin & Hewstone, 2003). Milgram shock people with his findings from the experiment, which was how most of his subjects (65%), average and presumably normal community residents, were willing to give a series of electric shocks to protesting victim plainly just because they were instructed to do so by an authority figure (Blass, 2011).Milgram’s approach was situational in the sense...
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