Obedience

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EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT OBEDIENCE BUT WERE TOO AFRAID TO ASK

What does inspire us to do what we’re told even if we don’t want to do it? We’ve been brought up with the idea of “do what your parents say and you’ll be a good child”, and as we love our parents and we want to be loved by them we tend to believe that obeying them we get to it. Eventually we grow up andbegin to rebel to our parents’ commands such as “ tidy-up your room” or “ be at home before 7“, however the instinct of obeying is already set deep inside in our DNA .

Therefore, although we do like to think of ourselves as individuals subjected to no one’s wishes, we act under certain circumstances like “robots”, able to carry out acts that we would probably refuse to do in any other context;and what is the most interesting, denying any responsibility that we might incur in as, at the end of the day, we’re just “following orders”

OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY

CONFORMITY “The process by which an individual’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours are conditioned by what is conceived to be what other people might perceive.
OBEDIENCE “The act of obeying, or the state of being obedient;compliance with that which is required by authority; subjection to rightful restraint or control.

In 1951 Asch published the results of a now classic experiment on conformity, in which he
investigated the extent to which social pressure from a majority group could affect a person to conform. However, some critics were most unimpressed. They argued they were trivial tasks with nosignificant consequences for self or other of conforming or resisting. Stanley Milgram was one of these critics.

STANLEY MILGRAM (1933-1984) was an American social psychologist most notable for his controversial study known as the Milgram Experiment. He tried to replicate Asch’s study, but with a task that had important consequences attached to the decision to conform or remain independent. The studywas conducted in the 1960s during Milgram’s professorship at Yale. Milgram was also influenced by a wider social issue: the events of the Holocaust, specially the Adolf Eichman trial, who was the Nazi official most directly responsible for the logistic of Hitler’s Final Solution, in which 6 millions Jews were systematically slaughtered; when questioned Eichman responded he was only “obeyingorders”.

MILGRAM’S EXPERIMENT

In July 1961, in the middle of the controversy arisen in Europe due Adolf Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem, Stanley Milgram had the idea to test how far people would go to obey an order given by an authority figure; to do so, he studied 40 male participants recruited through an add published on newspaper which offered $4’50 for participating in a study about“memory”. In the add, to make it more tempting, he assured this money was to be paid only for showing up.
The experiment was carried out at Yale University. He tested them in individual basis, although they believed they were being studied in pairs. They were introduced to who they believed was a fellow volunteer and asked to grab a piece of paper from a hat in order to assign their respectiveroles in the study; these roles were “teacher” and “learner. However, they ignored that this fellow volunteer was in fact an actor who always was going to play the role of “learner” thorough the whole study. The true experiment consisted in 3 participants: “the experimenter“, dressed in white costumes and an investigator -like manners as authority figure; “the learner”, a nice-looking andmild-mannered man in his middle age who reveals that he has a heart condition which is not true; and “the teacher” who has to administrate electroshocks to the learner every time he makes a mistake. The teacher had to read a set of words and the learner had to associate them to another word read previously. If the learner answered correctly he could go on to the next word but if the learner made a...
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