• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain why conformity and obedience are important in the British Army

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain why conformity and obedience are important in the British Army, giving reference to research studies. Authority can be defined as the power or right to give orders or make decisions. Authority maintains discipline, enforces rules and regulations, can come from one person or a group of people and can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used in. Officers in the British Army have the right to enforce obedience on others and their opinions are accepted not only because of this but because they are expected to have a better knowledge on the subject in question. Authority can, of course, be passed down through the ranks and when an officer in authority passes power onto another, usually a non-commissioned officer (NCO), then soldiers are expected to follow the commands given and to respect the chain of command. Compliance usually involves a request for a person to behave in a certain way, an act of compliance, although this doesn't have to be stated. In many occasions these actions are those which are in accordance with laws or rules and regulations. ...read more.

Middle

For example, the person who obeyed would probably say 'I was only carrying out orders' or because the people in authority often possess visible badges or signs of their superiority. These consist of special uniforms and titles. Having such obvious reminders of who is in charge, most people find it difficult not to obey. Of course blind obedience has its down sides, such as the events that occurred in Nazi Germany. If more people had questioned and challenged their policies many lives could have been saved. Of course, there was an elemental fear of the government in Nazi Germany at the time, which is a powerful method of instilling obedience but demanding conformity. During the Nuremberg Trials of 1945 Adolf Eichmann was a high ranking official in the Nazi Germany and worked for the Waffen SS (Hitler's political army). He was responsible for the transport and extermination of Jews in the holocaust. Consequential to the fact he played an active role in many of the atrocities committed, he became widely known as the 'chief executioner' of the Third Reich. Eichmann did not have any in-built racial hate. ...read more.

Conclusion

When deployed on operations soldiers are subject to international law, including the laws of armed conflict and the prescribed rules of engagement, and in some cases local civil law. Taken together, such laws establish the baseline for the standards of personal conduct expected of a soldier. The UK Government primarily uses two legislative frameworks: The Armed Forces Discipline Act 2004, The Army Act 2006. In 1914 the Defence of the Realm Act was passed which allowed the government to suppress published criticism, imprison without trial and commandeer economic resources for the war effort. However, in Peacetime the Army's role of administration of justice is limited to the prosecution of military personnel in criminal and military cases. Systems of accountability tell the government and the public when things are going wrong in a public service establishment in order that someone can address it's shortfalls. One consequence of a lack of authority such as the ill treatment of prisoners of war or a breach of International Human Rights could be the way that the media end up portraying it to the public, thus resulting in the service losing the public's trust, which can affect recruitment, communication links, fund raising and cooperation with other armed forces. While discipline is never fun to do, its neglect can have disastrous effects on military readiness and effectiveness. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    "Describe the main features of conformity and obedience analyse two conformity and obedience studies ...

    in the wrong this is how the experiment took place: The participants were given with an unmistakable task, a line judgement task. Participants were presented with two cards. One had on it a 'standard' line: on the other were three comparison lines.

  2. Critically Evaluate Research Into Conformity, Compliance and Obedience.

    study into conformity. Another early study into conformity was carried out by Sherif (1935) Sherif tested for conformity by using the autokinetic effect. It was discovered that when participants were tested individually their estimates on how far the light moved varied considerably.

  1. Psychology Questions Ansewered

    It may have shown that asking the conservation question once did indeed impact upon the results or it may have shown that it had no impact. From the inclusion of others a more accurate generalization would have been made that could be applied to how children conserve.

  2. Conformity & Obedience to Authority.

    The results found were really similar to Asch's but had a lower conformity rate. They were asked if the star had a larger area than the circle and 23 out of 50 of the military men tested agreed that the star had a larger area than the circle.

  1. The Concepts Of Conformity And Obedience

    Solomon Asch thought he could improve on Sherif's work and really demonstrate true conformity. Asch's visual judgement experiment (1951) showed just how easy it is to influence someone into saying something blatantly wrong! In Asch's experiments participants were asked to match a standard line to one of three alternatives, a task all people with normal vision could do quite accurately.

  2. Using research evidence, explain conformity and obedience

    and three other lines of varying length and to determine which line of the three was the same length as the standard line. In each group there was only one 'real' paricipant and the rest were instructed by the experimenter to give obviously wrong answers on 12 out of the 18 trials which took place.

  1. Conformity and Obedience

    The results of the group ordered to administer shocks were comparable to Milgram's findings, however in the group which had the choice there were only a small percentage of participants willing to issue shocks to the end of the scale.

  2. Anti-Social Behaviour Orders have been promoted as 'mixing the best of the civil and ...

    cannot do, and whilst no criminal proceedings or punishment have been administered (other than the restriction/s on their freedom to go where they like), should they not adhere to the conditions and stop the antisocial behaviour they previously exhibited, criminal proceedings may be commenced against them, which bring with them

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work