Obedience And Authority Theory Milgram

1513 Words7 Pages
Obedience can be defined as complying to an order given by an authority figure. It involves changing an individual’s behaviour because an authority figure has told them to do so, not due to their own beliefs and so can be seen as a form of social influence. Stanley Milgram was motivated by his background as his family were Jews who were persecuted by the Nazis. He was interested in whether the Nazis were following orders from authority figures or were carrying out these acts on their own behalf. In 1963, Stanley Milgram conducted one of the most famous studies on obedience and authority figures (McLeod, 2018). The study involved participants who were either assigned to the role of a teacher or the learner. The teacher had to give electric shocks to the learner every time the learner made a mistake. The experimenter firmly advised the teacher to keep giving electric shocks even when they wanted to stop. The results showed that when no oral feedback was given from the learner, all participants gave a shock of 450V. When the learner screamed or gave feedback, only 65% went to 450V. Milgram argued that the ‘teachers’ acted in this manner because they were told so by an authority figure (Milgram, 1963). Aspects of the participant’s behaviour can be explained by Milgram’s Agency theory (Milgram, 1974). This theory states that there are two types of behaviour people express when they are put into social situations; the autonomous state and the agentic state. The autonomous state

More about Obedience And Authority Theory Milgram

Open Document