Milgram's Agentic State Theory

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This essay is occupied with analyzing whether the agentic state theory developed by Professor Stanley Milgram is a valid explanation for the behaviour of participants in obedience experiments. It starts with defining and describing the abovementioned theory and continues with providing academic research evidence, in order to illustrate the arguments for and against the statement presented above. The essay ends by providing the key conclusions drawn from the analysis, while also attempting to give an answer to whether Milgram’s agentic state theory could indeed be characterized as valid in explaining the behaviour of participants in obedience experiments.

The agentic state theory is one of the two main theories that Milgram has developed (the other is the theory of conformism), in order to explain the behaviour of its participants in its obedience
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Several of the elements of the experiment protocol were changed, so that Burger (2009) complies with the ethical standards of its time, as far as human participation in experiments were concerned. According to the research findings, obedience estimations were almost to those of Milgram 45 years earlier than the date of Burger’s (2009) experiment. Participants’ responses did not differ in terms of their gender. The above results indicate the validity of Milgram’s agentic state theory in explaining human obedience. It is worth noting, though, that research findings also showed that participants’ responses differed up to a point in terms of their empathic concern and desire for control. This shows that despite the validity of Milgram’s findings, other factors shall also be taken into consideration, when studying human
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