Similarities And Differences Between Concepts Of Compliance, Obedience, And Conformity

obedience refers to

You notice in Asch’s line judgment task study that the participant is put into a situation where there is unanimity. Situations where a majority of people express the same viewpoint or behaving in the same way will result in increased conformity. Going against a majority is stressful and can elicit negative reactions from them, so it is easier to just go along (Cialdini & Trost, 1998).

obedience refers to

On certain trials the confederates would all give the same incorrect answer to the question. The experiment showed that around 76% of the subjects would conform to the incorrect answer at least once. After the experiment ended, participants were asked on why they conformed to the incorrect majority during the trials. All participants reported feeling uncertainty and doubt as a result of the differing opinions between themselves and that of the group. The majority of participants admitted knowing that they saw the lines differently to the group but thought they may have perceived it wrongly and that the group actually is right. Others simply went along with the group in order not to stand out or appeared as stupid and to avoid any conflict with the rest. A small minority reported actually seeing the lines same as what the group did.

Real Life Example Of Obedience

The low-ball tactics is based on the principle that one will agree to accept higher increase once he committed to an action. Compliance is not only influenced by persuasive tactics used as mentioned but also by the power the requester has. There are 6 basic powers, the reward power, coercive power, informational power, expert power, legitimate power and referent power . Once there is compliance, the reward power states that rewards will be given. Coercive power states that punishment will be threaten or given when there is non-compliance. The influencer will have the informational power if the targeted individuals thought that the influencer have more information than themselves.

These are often used by salespeople to persuade potential customers to fulfill their request to place orders. Kelman distinguished between 3 types of conformity, including identification. In an experiment at Swarthmore College, Asch presented participants with a printed line of a given length, and a series of additional lines of varying lengths. One of the lines was the same length as in the initial image, whilst the other two were significantly different. One group of participants was then asked individually how far the light had moved. Based on their own perception alone, they reported that the light had shifted widely varying distances. We would like to thank Hugo Critchley, Susana Martinez-Conde, Stephen Macknik, Mark Levine and Peter Fonagy for commenting on an earlier draft of the paper.

And more people began using the stairs instead of the elevator when informed that the vast majority of people took the stairs to go up one or two floors (Burger & Shelton, 2011). The majority opinion then becomes law, and people have to obey this law. Once this happens, the minority opinion has become the dominant position in society, and people do often not even remember where the opinion originated from.

In our study the human participants were required to carry out actions that would cause ‘pain’ to a virtual character. In this situation the behaviour of the participants had consequences for the condition of the virtual human that would be dangerous were it a real person. Milgram’s study included 23 conditions in which participants completed a variation of the obedience protocol. Another variation, sometimes referred to as condition obedience refers to 21, assessed levels of obedience predicted by laypeople and psychiatrists rather than actual behavior, and is therefore not an experiment. The analysis therefore included 21 of the 23 conditions, and 740 of the 780 (94.9%) total participants. There are many aspects of these set of experiments that have made them so influential. What did it do to you just to think that you could have been one of the 65% who would have just obeyed?

obedience refers to

Sometimes you have to wear a suit and tie or wear more formal clothing. In all of these instances my husband is complying from the real or imagined pressure of others to wear a suit and tie to a funeral, to a wedding or to a job interview. You might love talking about politics, but feel pressure to not speak about it at social gatherings. So, privately you would choose to talk about politics all the time, but the pressure from the real or imagined others keeps you from starting political discussions. “When we are young, we naturally wish to please our parents, our teachers, our ministers and rabbis. Even as adults, we desire to please authority figures, such as our boss at work.

Figure S1

Conformity is a trait that makes people change their behaviour to fit social norms and behave according to the wishes of others . In a group, people change their beliefs and attitudes to match them to the majority of the people within the group. When an individual conform, he is also being obedient and in order for people to comply, there must be a perceived authority within the group who can influences the behavior of member of that group. Without this authority figure, it is hard to make members of a group to conform. And if a member of this group fails to conform, he faces the punishment of the authority and in turn loses his credibility which is so important for him. It is this pressure that makes people to conform (Cialdini & Goldstein, 2004). Obedience, in human behavior, is a form of «social influence in which a person yields to explicit instructions or orders from an authority figure».

The previous two studies greatly influenced how modern psychologists think about obedience. Milgram’s study in particular generated a large response from the psychology community. In a modern study, Jerry Burger replicated Milgram’s method with a few alterations. Burger’s method was identical to Milgram’s except when the shocks reached 150 volts, participants decided whether or not they wanted to continue and then the experiment ended .

  • Nurses, unaware they were taking part in an experiment, were ordered by unknown doctors to administer dangerous doses of a drug to their patients.
  • As conformity is a group phenomenon, factors such as group size, unanimity, cohesion, status, prior commitment, and public opinion help determine the level of conformity an individual displays.
  • This behavior has been observed in cults, where members are often reluctant to doubt the group’s authority publically for fear of being rejected by their peers.
  • Social control carried out casually by people through such means as laughter, smiles, and ridicule is known as A.
  • In the first part of the experiment the two confederates answered green for each of the 36 slides.

When the learner was in the same room as the teacher, the highest shock rate dropped to 40%. When the teachers’ and learners’ hands were touching, the highest shock rate dropped to 30%. When the researcher gave the orders by phone, the rate dropped to 23%. These variations show that when the humanity of the person being shocked was increased, obedience decreased. Similarly, when the authority of the experimenter decreased, so did obedience. What does a person do if an authority figure orders something done? In a study by Martin and Bull , midwives privately filled out a questionnaire regarding best practices and expectations in delivering a baby.

Contagion theory Le Bon’s theory that the anonymity people feel in a crowd makes them susceptible to the suggestions of fanatical leaders, and that emotions can sweep through such a crowd like a virus. Caste system A closed system of social stratification in which prestige and social relationships are based on hereditary position at birth. Capitalism A form of economic organization in which private individuals accumulate and invest capital, own the means of production, and control profits. Bureaucracy A large-scale formal organization with centralized authority, a hierarchical chain of command, explicit rules and procedures, and an emphasis on formal positions rather than on persons. Bias The influence of a scientist’s personal values and attitudes on scientific observations and conclusions. For example, if the teacher asks whether the children would rather have extra recess, no homework, or candy, once a few children vote, the rest will conform and go with the majority.

Sociology Deviance

Cyclical theories Theories of social change suggesting that societies follow a certain life course, from vigorous and innovative youth to more materialistic maturity and then to decline. Cultural determinism The view that the nature of a society is shaped primarily by the ideas and values of the people living in it.

This is why if I asked you to tell me if conformity is good or bad – your initial reaction is probably that it is bad. Much of our adolescence is spent being coached to not just go along or fall to peer pressure because it is bad. If asked, I imagine it would be easy for you to come up with a list of things that would be bad for us to conform to — having unprotected sex, underage drinking, drinking and driving, bullying, the list goes on. Another way in which a group presence can affect our performance is social loafing. Social loafing is the exertion of less effort by a person working together with a group.

Reference group A social group whose standards and opinions are used by an individual to help define or evaluate beliefs, values, and behaviors. Power The capacity of an individual group to control or influence the behavior of others, even in the face of opposition.

Phrases Containing Obedience

For example, people tend to follow social norms when eating or watching television, regardless of whether others are present. As conformity is a group phenomenon, factors such as group size, unanimity, cohesion, status, prior commitment, and public opinion help determine the level of conformity an individual displays.

At Queens College (later part of the City University of New York ), he studied political science, in addition to taking courses in art, literature, and music. In 1953, following his third year at the college, he toured Europe and became increasingly interested in international relations. He was accepted into the graduate program in international affairs at Columbia University. However, in 1954, after completing a bachelor’s degree in political science at Queens College, Milgram instead began graduate studies in the social relations department at Harvard University. We’ve created a new place where questions are at the center of learning.

obedience refers to

The study found that all of the participants obeyed the order to shock the learner, but to varying degrees. The line of research opened up by Milgram stopped forty years ago due to ethical concerns, despite the tremendous importance of this work in the understanding of human behaviour.

Students Who Viewed This Also Studied

Assimilation The merging of minority and majority groups into one group with a come mon culture and identity. Alienation The separation or estrangement of individuals from themselves and from others.

In reality, the learner was not an experiment subject but Milgram’s accomplice, and he never actually received an electric shock. Another way that being part of a group can affect behavior is exhibited in instances in which deindividuation occurs.

For example, a person may feel pressurised to smoke because the rest of their friends are. Normative Social influence tends to lead to compliance because the person smokes just for show but deep down they wish not to smoke.

  • The Milgram experiment was carried out many times whereby Milgram varied the basic procedure .
  • The participants did not know that the learners were confederates and that the confederates did not actually receive shocks.
  • First, as we mentioned before, people don’t consider all behaviors to be freedoms.
  • For example, drivers comply with the directions given by traffic wardens, and students comply with the requests of their teacher, who they view as holding a position of authority.
  • However, there are instances when athletes can have difficulty under pressure.
  • “When we are young, we naturally wish to please our parents, our teachers, our ministers and rabbis.

According to the Washington Nationals’ pitching coach Paul Menhart, “It’s the worst feeling in the world stepping on that mound and having an idea that the hitter knows what’s coming. You just get ticked off to the point where you lose total focus and confidence.”The Washington Nationals won the 2019 World Series over the favored Astros.

Milgram’s Study And Effect On Research Ethics

In the next sections we will explore in greater detail each of these types of conformity (Cialdini & Trost, 1998; Cialdini & Goldstein, 2004). Finally, it is also worth noting that although a number of factors appear to lead to obedience, there are also those who would not obey. In one conceptual replication of the Milgram studies, conducted with a small sample in Italy, the researchers explored the moment that approximately two-thirds of the sample refused to cooperate (Bocchiaro & Zimbardo, 2010).

Iii Part Iii: How We Influence And Are Influenced By Others

Impression management A term used by Goffman to describe the efforts of individuals to influence how others perceive them. Ideal values Values that people say are important to them, whether or not their behavior supports those values. Horizontal mobility Movement from one social status to another of about equal rank in the social hierarchy. Gentrification The movement of middle-class and upper-middle-class persons into lower-income, sometimes minority urban areas. Expressive A type of role that involves the showing of emotional feelings or preferences in interpersonal relationships. Experiment A carefully controlled situation where the independent variable is manipulated while everything else remains the same; the aim is to see whether the dependent variable will change. Equilibrium In functionalist theory, the view that the parts of a society fit together into a balanced whole.

The level of obedience did not diminish when the experimenter gave his commands in a meek manner, but dropped to 20 percent when the commands were given by another confederate posing as a participant. Milgram concluded from this last finding that obedience does not depend on the authority figure’s personality or charismatic style, but rather that obedience requires only that the individual be recognized as a legitimate authority. No subject stopped before 300 volts, but of the 40 participants, 5 stopped at 300-volts, 4 stopped at 315-volts, 2 stopped at 330-volts, and 1 each at 345, 360, and 375-volts. A total of 14 subjects defied the experimenter, and 26 of the 40 participants obeyed till the end, administering 450-volts to the learner .

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Meanwhile, archival scholarship continues to examine the origins of Milgram’s work and to unearth troubling discrepancies between its public representation and how its methodology was executed in practice . The previous module discussed how we are influenced by the message. Persuasion, as we found, works by changing our attitudes or behaviors through the message that is presented. This module will focus on how we are influenced by real or imagined social pressure to change our behavior – conformity. This module will define conformity, investigate acceptance, compliance and obedience through classic studies as well as what motivates these types of conformity. We will also look at what factors affect conformity and what motivates us to choose nonconformity.

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