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Flashcards in Explanations for Obedience Deck (15):

Define the difference between conformity and obedience

Obedience occurs when an individual is told to do something and involves a hierarchy of power or status

whereas conformity is often due to the influence of the majority and peers through social pressure.


Name thel explanations for obedience

Agentic state
Autonomous state
The Authoritarian personality


Define the Agentic State

The agent state is when an individual perceives themselves as an agent caring out actions for someone else therefore separates themselves from the responsibility and the consequences for their actions.


Define the Autonomous state

The Autonomous state is when an individual perceives themselves as responsible for the consequences of their actions.


What is the name of the movement from the autonomous state to the agentIc state?

Agentic shift


What traits does someone with an Authoritarian personality have?

- Blind Allegiance to conventional beliefs about right and wrong

- Respect and obedience to those in authority

- Belief in aggression towards group which differ to them

- Tendency to project feelings of personal insecurity and inadequacy on 'weaker’ groups


What are the key studies associated with the authoritarian personality?

Adorno (1950) and Elms + Milgram (1966)


What was the name of the questionnaire Adorno made?

The F-scale


What does the F stand for ?



Who was his sample ?

2,000 white Americans


What was Adorno’s Aim?

To determine if prejudice is the result of an individual’s personality type


What did Adorno believe some of an Authoritarian personality traits were?

- more prejudice
- Strict upbringing/ Harsh parents
- Belief that they’re superior
- More obedient.


What did Scores in the questionnaire elude to ?

Hostility towards people of Lower status and obedient to higher status

Rigid beliefs and traditional views.


How did Elms and Milgram follow up his previous study

by getting 40 participants from his last sample
20 defiant and 20 obedient


What did Elms and Milgram do?

Firstly They got participants to complete an MMPI scale and a F-scale questionnaire so they could compare the results between the obedient and the defiant.

Then they asked open ended questions about the following:

- Parental Relationships
- Childhood
- Authority figures (researcher)
- Learner in previous experiment