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Outline and Evaluate One or More Explanations of Why People Obey

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Introduction

Outline and Evaluate One or More Explanations of Why People Obey There are three main reasons why people obey - Legitimate Authority, Graduated Commitment and Agentic Shift, these are the three reasons identified by Milgram. Legitimate Authority is when people feel compelled to obey people with a high social status (Legitimate social power), their role is usually defined by society, and we generally respect the person with power because of the responsibility or hardship required in their role. ...read more.

Middle

Milgram's study helps support my last statement that the location and the social standing of the authority figure will alter the outcome of a person's reaction. More experiments similar to Milgram's study have been carried out cross culturally. Respect for authority is different depending on the country. For example Australia has a tradition of questioning authority (40% went to 450V) unlike Germany which has a tradition of being very obedient (WWII Holocaust). However the results vary from person to person, this was found in Milgram's study for example one person was Jewish and they used this as a reason to not obey. ...read more.

Conclusion

Firstly people agreed to participate in Milgram's study so they were more inclined to continue in the experiment. They then drew lots so it appeared it was just luck that they were not being shocked. The fact that the difference between shocks was relatively low made it seem like the actual voltage of the shock was less painful as the confederate had the shocks building up and would be used to the level of shock. The "the foot in the door technique" can be used by salesmen e.g. "You have already bought this TV why not buy the surround sound system to go with it?" ?? ?? ?? ?? Wednesday 29 September 2010 ...read more.

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