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Argumentative Synthesis Final

In: English and Literature

Submitted By gnpair
Words 1550
Pages 7
Luke Saxon
Dr. Loper
EN 101-129
23 November 2014

Argumentative Synthesis Final Obedience to authority comes somewhat naturally to most people because of the world we live in, every civilization has some type of authority. However, power brings on great responsibilities, and not all authority figures have the ability to handle that. For years psychologists have studied obedience to authority to learn new things about humans and our interaction with those giving the orders. For me exploring this topic has led me to believe that power has the ability to corrupt, situations are a key factor in decision making, and most people are inclined to obey authority.
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” is a popular quote from Lord Acton. This statement has been proven true time and time again throughout history. A few good examples come from the Stanford Prison Experiment, where some of the students that played the role of guard abused the power they had been given for the experiment. During the testing two main guards took it upon themselves to become the authority of the prison even though they were not asked to do so. This shows that even a small amount of power can start to affect the way you act. They began taunting the prisoners, calling them demeaning names, and even forced them to do unnecessary exercises at times simply because they had the power to. Not only does power have the ability to corrupt, but it has the ability to do it quickly at times. These guys had no history of anything linking them to abuse or misconduct of any sort, but once they received power it quickly changed the way they acted. The process that Dr. Philip Zimbardo had planned was expected to last about 2 weeks, but it actually on lasted 4 days, and one key factor to the experiment being cut short was the guards abusing their power. It led to a lot of drama…...

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