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How does obedience differ from Conformity?

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Introduction

How does obedience differ from Conformity? Both obedience and conformity involve social pressure in obedience the pressure comes from behaving as you are instructed to do; whereas in conformity the pressure comes from group norms Behaviour in obedience is determined by social power, whereas in conformity it is influenced mostly by the need for acceptance. In nearly all societies, certain people are given power and authority over others. Our society, for example, parents, teachers, and managers are invested with various degrees of authority. Most of the time, this does not cause any problems. The issue of why some people obey with out question or justify their actions has been of interest to psychologists and researchers for many years. ...read more.

Middle

If they were unwilling to continue the person in authority would reply "it is essential that you should continue" and they continued, one participant carried on even when he thought he and killed the recipient. Behaviour such as this Milgram called "The Agentic State". Hence, they cease to act according to their consciences. The attitude of those in this state is as follows: "I am not responsible, I act as I do because I was ordered to do it!" Unquestioning obedience to authority may have catastrophic consequences as history has shown us with Adolf Hitler in the Second World War. Adolf Hitler who's ethnocentrism and prejudice towards anyone or thing that was not of the superior German race had to be destroyed in the name of Nazism [totalitarianism]. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are extremely selfish to the point of even depriving their own children of food. In conclusion Behaviourist believe that, all behaviour is learnt either through conditioning or reinforcement [Operant conditioning]. Bandura (1986) argued that observational learning or modelling is important. As this form of learning means that by imitating others reinforces their behaviour, especially when the behaviour is rewarded or reinforced. However in contrast to this, people who are within any society or culture and it's beliefs, with regards of what is expected and acceptable can be "forced" in certain situations to behave in anti-social ways. As their behaviour becomes adaptive to meet the needs of "normative social influence" without doing so could lead them to receiving social and/or cultural rejection. "I WAS ONLY FOLLOWING ORDERS" ...read more.

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Response to the question

The candidate here shows a clear knowledge of the difference between obedience and conformity, making a very clear identification of the difference between the two, and explaining it in such a way that it is likely people who have not ...

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Response to the question

The candidate here shows a clear knowledge of the difference between obedience and conformity, making a very clear identification of the difference between the two, and explaining it in such a way that it is likely people who have not studied psychology will still be able to understand. Shortly after the first paragraph, the candidate turns to good evidence from psychological studies (Milgram's study of obedience to authority) is perfect for this, and there is evidence of strong contextual understanding behind the use of the study. The following paragraph strays dangerously close to really only concerning ethnocentrism, without drawing much of a link back to the question focused on obedience and conformity. Because the link is not explicit, the candidate may struggle to earn many marks here, as it is not apparent that they are focusing on the question when talking about the Ik tribe in Uganda for example.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is fair. The candidate forms a nicely structured and well-balanced discussion about the definitions of obedience though little is given as empirical evidence for conformity. A study I would personally recommend is Asch's study into majority influence. A simple study but fairly hard to explain, it's an extremely well-known study in the field of social psychology as it provides proof that conformity in linked groups exist, even if the members of said group are not familiar with each other - that is to say, that situation can also inform conformity, just as it can obedience. The candidate cannot win full marks for the analysis as they have not considered the discussion for conformity. A fair discussion on both obedience and conformity is required here.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is quite poor. The errors range from forgetting/incorrectly using punctuation points e.g. - "Both obedience and conformity involve social pressure in obedience the pressure comes from behaving as you are instructed to do; whereas in conformity the pressure comes from group norms Behaviour in obedience is determined by social power, whereas in conformity it is influenced mostly by the need for acceptance." Here the semi-colon is misused and a number of instances where full-stops and commas should be applied are left blank, so the essay reads poorly. This is unacceptable for candidates working towards A Levels in essay-heavy subjects like English Literature, Psychology, History or Philosophy. I recommend the candidate re-read their essay and seriously consider investing in spell-checker to ensure optimum clarity in written expression.


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