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DEFINITION: “The act of obeying, or the state of being obedient; compliance with that which is required by authority; subjection to rightful restraint.

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Presentation on theme: "DEFINITION: “The act of obeying, or the state of being obedient; compliance with that which is required by authority; subjection to rightful restraint."— Presentation transcript:


2 DEFINITION: “The act of obeying, or the state of being obedient; compliance with that which is required by authority; subjection to rightful restraint or control.”  Obedience.(n.d.). In Webster dictionary online. Retrieved from http://www.webster-

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4 1. Milgram served as teaching assistant for Solomon Asch and found inspiration to conduct research related to the conformity paradigm. Asch is a renowned psychologist known for his research on conformity and the ‘line judgment task’. 2.Milgram was a Jewish man and his curiosity for the obedience paradigm stemmed in part by his attempt to fathom the events that took place during the holocaust. 3. Milgram wanted to pursue a career in social psychology 4. Milgram sought determine whether ordinary people would inflict pain on someone else based on Adolf Eichmanns story.

5 Reviews of Milgram's study often criticized him of being unscrupulous as he noted that participants displayed nervousness, trembles, and stuttering. Collectivist gains should not be ignored. Some scholars support Milgram's study.

6 Conformity An action of a participant who adopts his behaviours from his group members that have the same status. Obedience An action of a participant who complies with authority.

7 Hierarchy -Obedience occurs in a hierarchical structure -Conformity happens among people with some status. Imitation -There is imitation in conformity. -There is no imitation in obedience.

8 Explicitness -Obedience: the instruction for an action is explicit. -Conformity: the requirement of changing remains implicit. Voluntarism -Conformity: explains his own behavior as voluntary. -Obedience: denying any personal involvement but due to an authority.

9  ‘le jeu de la mort’ is a French game show experiment modelled after Stanley Milgram's famous obedience study  16/80 participants refused to obey the orders given by the host.  80% of the participants went to the very end of the voltage meter(460 volts). 

10 A Behavioural Study of Obedience in Children Shanab and Yahya conducted a replication of Milgram's’ obedience experiment on 192 Jordan subjects ranging from age six to sixteen. Method: The sessions involved a female experimenter, the learner and the subject. For female subjects, a 15 year old confederate played the role of the learner. For male subjects, an 11, 15, and 13 year was the confederate depending on each subject. -Relationship between punishment and learning Results: - There is no difference between males and females. -More females than males reported that they punished because they were obeying the orders. -73% of subjects including both sexes continued to the end of the scale.

11 Hofling Hospital Experiment: This was an experiment designed to determine how far nurses will obey an authority figure such as a doctor. Results: Hofling demonstrated that people are very unwilling to question supposed ‘authority’, even when they might have good reason to. The results showed that 21 out of the 22 nurses easily obeyed and carried on with the orders they received.


13 Adolf Eichmann was a Nazi lieutenant colonel that was partly responsible for the deportation and slaughter of numerous European Jews. He was charged for crimes against humanity and during his trial, he stated that he was simply obeying the orders given to him by his superiors. “The orders were, for me, the highest thing in my life and I had to obey them without question” He was found guilty and hung on June 1st 1962. Author and philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote in her book ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’ that Eichmanns’ actions during the holocaust was due to a natural human response of obedience and his own inability to think for himself. Arendt's received a lot of backlash because of her claims. In agreement with Arendt, Milgram stated that an ordinary person can become an agent of a destructive process due to his/her sense of obligation to the duties assigned to them.

14 1. You work at a fast food restaurant and notice that the box of thawed patties has grown mold on it. Your manager checks the meat to see if it is moldy and it looks fine. He/She tells you to put the patties on the grill.

15 2.You go in for a routine check up at the family doctor and he/she bring out a needle full of a new vaccine that he/she insists will be implemented in hospitals across the country in a few months. The doctor says that you have been selected to receive the vaccine and you must get the shot.

16 3.You are assisting your father as he works on the engine of an old car. He has fixed many cars and is an experienced mechanic. He tells you to start the engine while he has his hand between wires inside the engine. you do not feel right about it but he has a strong voice and yells at you to quickly start the engine.

17 4.It is thunder storming outside and you are early for a business meeting. As you approach the main entrance, you notice a sign that says “Do not enter, please use rear doors”. You noticed that the door is slightly opened, indicating that it is unlocked.

18 5. You are on an airplane flying across the Atlantic ocean. it is not experiencing turbulence yet you are told to fasten your seat belt and power off your phone by a flight attendant.

19 Strip Search Compliance: There were numerous cases reported that involved an anonymous caller who phoned shops and businesses pretending to be law enforcement. The caller would manipulate supervisors and managers into strip searching employees (mostly females) who were accused of theft by this individual. Louise Ogborn was an 18 year old former McDonald’s employee who was awarded 6.1 million after she was falsely accused of theft, forced to strip naked and humiliated by her managers.

20 1.My Lai Massacre 2.Abu Ghraib 3.The Reverend Jim Jones and his congregation




24 Darling, Cumsille and Martinez conducted a study where they measured Chilean adolescents likelihood to obey, controlling the study for parenting. -703 11-19 year olds ranging from grade 6 - grade 12 were selected -they used the Strategic Disclosure Questionnaire to analyse how frequently adolescents obeyed their parents. Results: Adolescents are more likely to obey despite their disagreement with their parents when it came to issues that their parents set clear rules for and enforced strictly. Adolescents were more likely to obey their parents when it came to issues that they agreed with their parents about. Question: If a child is reared by criminal parents who strictly enforce their immoral beliefs, once the child becomes an adolescent, will they still obey?

25 T he social power of the uniform by Leonard Bickman is a study conducted to determine whether people dressed in uniform possess a greater power than those not in uniform. Method: 153 pedestrians whose age ranged from age 18-61 were selected as subjects in Flatbush, Brooklyn, N.Y four male confederates each dressed up in 3 different types of attire that represented 3 variations of authority. 1.The civilian in a sports jacket and tie 2.The milkman 3.The guard Scenarios: Picking up a bag, dime and meter, bus stop-no standing Results: The guard was obeyed the most in all three situations followed by the milkman and the civilian respectively. The least obedience occurred in the bus stop situation. There was no difference in gender or age for the results.

26  Durkin and Jefferey (2000)  Method: asked children aged 5-9 years old who could make an arrest using illustrated scenarios: ◦ a policeman out of uniform ◦ a policeman in uniform ◦ a man who is not a policeman but is wearing a uniform.  Results: ◦ Children who made the wrong chose mainly because they have chosen the non-policeman with a police uniform. ◦ This suggests that even for children, power does reside in the uniform.

27  A study done by Powell (2008)  Method: Children (5-6 & 7-8) were presented with different scenarios in which various adults requested assistance from a child. ◦ A police officer ◦ A teacher ◦ An unspecified adult  Results: ◦ Perceived legitimacy of the request was highest for the police officer compared to the teacher. ◦ Children’s justifications suggested that the positive relationship between obedience and social status was due to fear of punishment for not obeying, especially for the younger age group.

28 In Milgrams’ obedience study, participants were said to have obeyed due to the following reasons: 1.In many cultures, people are taught to obey authority figures; teachers, parents, police officers etc. 2.The strategic gradual increase in demands by the experimenter 3.Information about the experiment was limited 4.Responsibility was not assigned to the participants Other Reasons: 1. Some obey because they support the cause 2.Others obey because they feel that they do not have a choice

29  Authority factor: This includes people in uniform such as the police, military leader and a scientist in a labcoat.  Procedure factor: This includes the location of the experimenter and the victim. Obedience is highest when the experimenter is in the same room rather than giving instructions over the phone.  Person factor: People who are in groups are able to disobey authorities compared to people who are on their own.

30 1.Agreeable 2.Conscientious 3.Authoritarian

31  Captain Paul Grueninger --The chief of police who saved Jewish refugees by refusing to do his duty

32  Hofling Hospital Experiment  Rank & Jacobson (1977) ◦ A failure to replicate ◦ Challenging Hofling with a more realistic drug Result: ◦ Only 2 out of 18 nurses followed the order. ◦ Obedience rates were lowered by increased realism of the experiment and the discussion with a colleague.

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34 1. Does obedience vary over time and gender? What variables need to be taken into account? 2. Do you consider the Milgram paradigm to be ethical or unethical? What are the arguments supporting your position? 3. What is the current evaluation of Milgrams’ research? 4. What is meant by “obedience optimization”? 5. Can you think of other situations/settings where obedience might be dangerous? What suggestions could you offer to reduce the possibility of destructive obedience endangering others? 6. As a psychologist, what advice would you give parents who ask you about the role of obedience in childrearing? When is it appropriate or inappropriate for the child to obey adults? To whom should obedience be given?

35 “French”. (2010, March 17). French contestants torture each other on TV Game of Death. The Telegraph. Retrieved from each-other-on-TV-Game-of-Death.html Cunha, M.P., Rego, A., & Clegg, S.R. (2010). Obedience and Evil: From Milgram and Kampuchea to Normal Organizations. Journal of Business Ethics, 97, 291-309. Doi: 10.1007/s10551-010-0510-5 Shanab, M.E., & Yahya,K.A.(1977). A behavioural study of obedience in children. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35(7), 530-536. Doi: Darling, N.,Cumsille, P., & Martinez, M.L.( 2007). Adolescents' as active agents in the socialization process: Legitimacy of parental authority and obligation to obey as predictors of obedience. Journal of Adolescence, 30(2), 297-311. Doi: Obedience.(n.d.). In Webster dictionary online. Retrieved from http://www.webster- Olson, J. M., Breckler, S. J., & Wiggins, E. C. (2008). Social psychology alive (1st Canadian ed.). Toronto: Thomson Nelson.

36 Bickman, L. (1974). The social power of a Uniform. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 4(1), 47- 61 Retreieved from ml. Miller, A. G. (1986). The obedience experiments: A case study of controversy in social science. New York: Praeger. Milgram, S. (2004). Obedience to authority: An experimental view (1st Perennial Classics ed.). New York: Perennial Classics. McLeod, S.A (2007). Obedience to Authority | Simply Psychology. Retrieved November 2, 2014, from United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (2014). “Introduction to the Holocaust.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 2, 2014

37 Blass, T. (2000). Obedience to authority: Current perspectives on the Milgram paradigm. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Durkin, K. and Jeffery, L. (2000), The salience of the uniform in young children's perception of police status. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 5(1) 47–55. DOI: 10.1348/135532500167967 Powell, M.B, Wilson, J.C., Gibbons, C & Croft, C.M. (2008) Children’s conception of police authority when responding to requests for assistance, Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, 9(1), 5-16, DOI:10.1080/15614260801969888 Rank, S. G., & Jacobson, C. K. (1977). Hospital nurses' compliance with medication overdose orders: A failure to replicate. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 18(2), 188-193. Retrieved from 82

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