Social-Psychological Explanations of Obedience Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Social-Psychological Explanations of Obedience Deck (8)
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1

What are the two social-psychological explanations for obedience?

Agentic State
Legitimacy of Authority

2

What is an agentic state?

This is the opposite of an autonomous state, individuals act on behalf of another authority figure, they therefore feel no sense of personal responsibility

3

What are binding factors?

Aspects of a situation that allow an individual to ignore or minimise the damaging effect of their behaviour and thus reduce the moral strain of obeying immoral orders

4

How may the agentic state explain obedience?

People may be more likely to obey in situations in which they feel limited personal responsibility - e.g guards for concentration camps

5

What is the legitimacy of authority explanation?

This explanation says that we live in hierarchal societies in which we hand over power to those at the top - we therefore are more likely to obey leaders and people at the top of society.

6

How are individuals given legitimate authority?

Through societies agreements - trust and upbringing enables us to hand control of our behaviour to authorities.

7

What possible problems can arise from handing over authority to individuals?

Charismatic and powerful leaders can use their power for destructive purposes.

8

What are the evaluation points for the social-psychological explanations of obedience?

+ There is research support for the agentic state explanation - students shown a film of Milgram's study placed the blame with the experimenter not teacher
- The agentic state explanation is limited - not everybody shifts to an agentic state all live in same situations, surely all should? Partial explanation
+ LoA accounts for cultural differences - Aus more likely to obey than Get. - due to diff lvls of acceptance of authority
- Provides an obedience alibi