Premium Essay

Conformity and Obedience in the 20th Century

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By jmm12345678
Words 1201
Pages 5
Conformity and Obedience in the 20th Century

The desire to be accepted and belong to a group is an undeniable human need. But how does this need affect an individual? Social psychologists have conducted numerous experiments and concluded that, through various forms of social influence, groups can change their members' thoughts, feelings, and behavior. In her essay "Group Minds," Doris Lessing discusses our paradoxical ability to call ourselves individuals and our inability to realize that groups define and influence us. We, as humans, hold individualism in the highest regard yet fail to realize that groups diminish our individuality. Lessing writes, "when we're in a group, we tend to think as that group does... but we also find our thinking changing because we belong to a group" (p. 334). Groups have the tendency to generate norms, or standards for behavior in certain situations. Not following these norms can make you stand out and, therefore, groups have the ability to influence our thoughts and actions in ways that are consistent with the groups'. Lessing's essay helps set the context to understand the experiments that social psychologists Solomon Asch, Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo conducted to explain conformity and obedience. Solomon Asch's experiment in "Opinions and Social Pressure" studied a subject's ability to yield to social pressure when placed within a group of strangers. His research helped illustrate how groups encourage conformity. During a typical experiment, members of the group were asked by the experimenter to claim two obvious mismatched lines were identical. The single individual who was not privy to this information was the focal point of the experiment. Twelve out of eighteen times the unsuspecting individual went along with the majority, dispelling his beliefs in favor of the opinions of the...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Obedience to a

...Obedience to Authorit Obedience to Authority Obedience is a term that can take place in many forms and with diverse individuals, especially with those who are authoritative figures. With many forms of destruction and life-threatening violence taking place during the middle part of the 20th century, many psychologists and scientists took interest in how ordinary individuals reacted to individuals in authority. One psychology in particular, Stanley Milgram, conducted a series of experiments investigating individuals’ obedient behavior to authoritative figures, whether positive deeds or acts of violence. This paper will summarize Milgram’s famous research as well as analyze the most current research of conforming to authority. Additionally, this paper will examine the current research on Milgram's findings from the early part of the 1960s. Summary of Milgram's Research Stanley Milgram (1963) was a social psychologist who set out to investigate human obedience, especially following the Second World War and in particular, the Holocaust (Milgram, 1963). Milgram’s interest was to conduct a study to answer the research question, are Germans different? However, as Milgram began to develop a tool used for studying obedience, he soon discovered that all individuals are remarkably obedient to people in authority. Milgram chose a naive subject to administer a dangerous electric shock to a victim, which releases voltage ranges from 15 to 450 (Milgram, 1963)....

Words: 1126 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Psychology of Genocide

...The Psychology of Genocide Of all of the monumental events in history, there is perhaps no incident as fascinating from a social psychology perspective as the Holocaust. An entire nation of people took part, to some degree, in an ideology of hatred and a policy of murder towards distinct ethnic groups. An estimated 13 million people were murdered as a result of these policies, 6 million of whom were Jewish, the most hated group of all. And all of this took place in one of the most advanced nations in the world! While the Holocaust was happening, the world was largely ignorant to what was going on. In the years following Germany’s defeat, however, the grisly details began to come to the surface. A Diary of a Young Girl was published in 1950, and is the diary of a girl named Anne Frank. Anne Frank along with her family hid from the Nazi’s during their occupation of Amsterdam. One of her protectors, Miep Gies, was later interviewed in the documentary Dear Kitty: Remembering Anne Frank. From these sources we can gather information on all the people involved, not just in Anne Franks case, but in occupied Holland as a whole. This information is rich in the concepts of social psychology, as we can study the victims, the perpetrators, the bystanders, and the rebels. In this paper, we will examine why everyone involved in Anne Franks hiding and death acted the way they did, and what may have motivated them to do so. The main perpetrators used persuasion and stereotyping to......

Words: 1461 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Social Influence

...Social influence occurs when one's emotions, opinions, or behaviors are affected by others.[1] Social influence takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization, peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing. In 1958, Harvard psychologist, Herbert Kelman identified three broad varieties of social influence.[2] 1. Compliance is when people appear to agree with others, but actually keep their dissenting opinions private. 2. Identification is when people are influenced by someone who is liked and respected, such as a famous celebrity. 3. Internalization is when people accept a belief or behavior and agree both publicly and privately. Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard described two psychological needs that lead humans to conform to the expectations of others. These include our need to be right (informational social influence), and our need to be liked (normative social influence).[3] Informational influence (or social proof) is an influence to accept information from another as evidence about reality. Informational influence comes into play when people are uncertain, either because stimuli are intrinsically ambiguous or because there is social disagreement. Normative influence is an influence to conform to the positive expectations of others. In terms of Kelman's typology, normative influence leads to public compliance, whereas informational influence leads to private acceptance....

Words: 4418 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay


...Freud Psychosexual Development In Freudian psychology, psychosexual development is a central element of the psychoanalytic sexual drive theory, that human beings, from birth, possess an instinctual libido (sexual energy) that develops in five stages. Each stage – the oral, the anal, thephallic, the latent, and the genital – is characterized by the erogenous zone that is the source of the libidinal drive. Sigmund Freud proposed that if the child experienced sexual frustration in relation to any psychosexual developmental stage, he or she would experience anxiety that would persist into adulthood as a neurosis, a functional mental disorder. Stages of Development Stage | Age Range | Erogenous zone | Consequences of psychologic fixation | Oral | Birth–1 year | Mouth | Orally aggressive: chewing gum and the ends of pencils, etc. Orally Passive: smoking, eating, kissing, oral sexual practices[4] Oral stage fixation might result in a passive, gullible, immature, manipulativepersonality. | Anal | 1–3 years | Bowel and bladderelimination | Anal retentive: Obsessively organized, or excessively neat Anal expulsive: reckless, careless, defiant, disorganized, coprophiliac | Phallic | 3–6 years | Genitalia | Oedipus complex (in boys and girls); according to Sigmund Freud.Electra complex (in girls); according to Carl Jung. | Latency | 6–puberty | Dormant sexual feelings | Sexual unfulfillment if fixation occurs in this stage. | Genital | Puberty–death | Sexual interests......

Words: 1316 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Anarchism Notes

...himAnarchism Core themes: against the state Prefer a stateless society in which individuals manage their affairs by voluntary agreement. However it is based upon the assumption that human beings are moral creatures, instinctively drawn to freedom and autonomy. Therefore its efforts have been directed more towards awakening moral instincts rather than analysing the system of state oppression. Anarchism has a dual character as it overlaps with both socialism and liberalism because of their end goals of a stateless society. It can therefore be interpreted as ultra-liberalism or ultra-socialism. Anarchist supporters are united by a belief in anti-statism, utopianism, anti-clericalism and economic freedom. Anti-statism; * Authority is an offence against the principles of freedom and equality whilst oppressing and limiting human life. * Endorses absolute freedom and unrestrained political equality * Authority damages and corrupts those who are subject to it and those who hold it. * Since humans are free and autonomous creatures, to be subject to authority is to be diminished * To be in authority is to acquire an appetite for control and domination * The state is a sovereign body that exercises supreme power over individuals. It is unlimited and restricts behaviour, thinking, activity and economic life. * The state is compulsory and individuals are subject to it because of where they are born. * The state is a coercive body whose laws are......

Words: 2485 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Contribution of Taylor and Frayol to Management Theory

...INTRODUCTION Although significant progress has been made over several years in the evolution of management theories, the discipline has suffered from a deluge of theories that may be more confusing in practice than directional (Koontz, 1980). Though the earlier work from classical theorists like Taylor and Fayol contributed significantly to developments in management practice (some still applicable today), it has become clearer that confidence in the universal validity of management theories developed in countries like the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA) is questionable. Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol are historical figures, well known within the field of business for their challenging views on business and administration policies and principles. In this regard, the convergence of Fayol’s principle and Taylor’s theory has made contribution to the applicability of management philosophies across cultures and has lent some form of sanity to the body of knowledge by tackling the differences in relevance across regions as being attributable to cultural differences. MANAGEMENT DEFINED If you walked into a company, how could you tell who the managers are? Management expert Peter Drucker says that management “. . . is the responsibility for contribution.” In other words, it is the manager who is responsible for making sure that the company achieves its goals. A manager is someone who is responsible for accomplishing an organizational unit’s goals and who...

Words: 3406 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay


...What is Hypnosis ? Describe the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis and discuss the role of relaxation in hypnotherapy. To many people the word hypnosis will often conjure up images of swinging fob watches and dramatic stage shows where people are compelled to behave in strange ways. Whilst very entertaining, the popular performance of stage hypnosis is very different to the essence of modern hypnosis and is mainly responsible for many misconceptions about hypnotism and hypnotherapy. (Waterfield 2004) In order to understand modern hypnosis, it is necessary to look to the past in order to identify and trace its origins. Waterfield writes about examples from history thought to be an indication of early hypnosis in many different cultures, including ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, India and even Australia, but dismisses many of these as unrelated and unproven in many cases. Modern hypnosis in the Western Hemisphere is believed to have started with Franz Anton Mesmer. Born in Iznang, which is now part of Germany, in 1734, Mesmer studied philosophy, theology, music, maths and law before deciding on a medical career. He worked extensively in Vienna and as a result of influences by the mystic physician Paracelsus he began to develop ideas of an invisible fluid in the body which affected health. Initially, he used magnets to manipulate the fluid and ‘magnetise’ his patients. Healing sessions with individual patients progressed to group sessions and Mesmer......

Words: 1874 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

The Social

...animal Books by Elliot Aronson Theories of Cognitive Consistency (with R. Abelson et al.), 1968 Voices of Modern Psychology, 1969 The Social Animal, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2004; (with J. Aronson), 2008 Readings About the Social Animal, 1973, 1977, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2004; (with J. Aronson), 2008 Social Psychology (with R. Helmreich), 1973 Research Methods in Social Psychology (with J. M. Carlsmith & P. Ellsworth), 1976 The Jigsaw Classroom (with C. Stephan et al.), 1978 Burnout: From Tedium to Personal Growth (with A. Pines & D. Kafry), 1981 Energy Use: The Human Dimension (with P. C. Stern), 1984 The Handbook of Social Psychology (with G. Lindzey), 3rd ed., 1985 Career Burnout (with A. Pines), 1988 Methods of Research in Social Psychology (with P. Ellsworth, J. M. Carlsmith, & M. H. Gonzales), 1990 Age of Propaganda (with A. R. Pratkanis), 1992, 2000 Social Psychology, Vols. 1–3 (with A. R. Pratkanis), 1992 Social Psychology: The Heart and the Mind (with T. D. Wilson & R. M. Akert), 1994 Cooperation in the Classroom: The Jigsaw Method (with S. Patnoe), 1997 Nobody Left to Hate: Teaching Compassion After Columbine, 2000 Social Psychology: An Introduction (with T. D. Wilson & R. M. Akert), 2002, 2005, 2007 The Adventures of Ruthie and a Little Boy Named Grandpa (with R. Aronson), 2006 Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) (with C. Tavris), 2007 Books by Joshua Aronson Improving Academic Achievement, 2002 The Social Animal To...

Words: 208005 - Pages: 833

Premium Essay

Lone Wolf Terrorism

...The general view of terrorism is that it is a group activity which is mainly influenced by leaders training, recruitment, obedience and conformity, solidarity and moral disengagement. Due to the imbalance that exists between the focus by scholars on terrorism that is group based on one hand and apparent threat posed by lone wolf terrorist on the other hand, necessitates the empirical and conceptual analysis of lone wolf terrorism so as to establish a good understanding of this phenomenon. The extent to which existing explanations of triggers and motivations of terrorism are associated to deeds of lone terrorist is still not clear. This paper therefore seeks to explain the history of lone wolf terrorism, the triggers and motivations of lone wolf terrorisms, the existing counterterrorism measures that can be used in combating lone wolf terrorism, the new...

Words: 8796 - Pages: 36

Premium Essay

A Critique on Kant's Principle of Autonomy

...QUEEN OF APOSTLES PHILOSOPHY CENTRE JINJA (PCJ) CRITIQUE OF THE NOTION OF AUTONOMY IN KANT’S MORAL PHILOSOPHY AN UNDER GRADUATE DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE INSTITUTE OF ETHICS AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES OF UGANDA MARTYRS UNIVERSITY (UMU) NKOZI, IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS IN PHILOSOPHY BISIMWA MUNYALI EVARISTE MARCH 2011 1 DEDICACE This work is dedicated in a special way to: My ever loving and caring God, My family and the community of the Missionaries of Africa. 2 DECLARATION I………………………………………………………..have read the rules of Uganda Martyrs University on plagiarism and hereby state that this work is my own. It has not been submitted anywhere else for any qualification. I have acknowledged the secondary sources used in this work. NAME OF STUDENT…………………………………………………………. SIGNATURE…………………………………………………………………… DATE: …………………………………………………………………………… SUPERVISOR………………………………………………………………….. SIGNATURE…………………………………………………………………… DATE: ………………………………………………………………………….. 3 ABSTRACT The importance of a philosophical study dealing with moral issues, especially the principle of autonomy is indisputably great. It is a common agreement that morality is located within the scope of duty. Kant corroborates this held agreement by stating the categorical imperative which every human is obliged to act upon. He conceived this categorical imperative as the moral law which all those who claim to be moral beings have to live on. However, he also affirmed...

Words: 21012 - Pages: 85

Premium Essay


...Further information: Outline of psychology and Index The word psychology literally means, “study of the soul" of psychology articles (ψυχή psukhē, “breath, spirit, soul” and -λογία -logia, “study of” or “research”).[10] The Latin word psycholoPsychology is an academic and applied discipline that gia was first used by the Croatian humanist and Latinist involves the scientific study of mental functions and Marko Marulić in his book, Psichiologia de ratione anbehaviors.[1][2] Psychology has the immediate goal of imae humanae in the late 15th century or early 16th understanding individuals and groups by both establish- century.[11] The earliest known reference to the word ing general principles and researching specific cases,[3][4] psychology in English was by Steven Blankaart in 1694 and by many accounts it ultimately aims to benefit in The Physical Dictionary which refers to “Anatomy, society.[5][6] In this field, a professional practitioner or which treats the Body, and Psychology, which treats of researcher is called a psychologist and can be classified the Soul.”[12] as a social, behavioral, or cognitive scientist....

Words: 12427 - Pages: 50

Premium Essay


...In Conjunction with  History of Ethics Instructor: Robert Cavalier Teaching Professor Robert Cavalier received his BA from New York University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Duquesne University. In 1987 he joined the staff at Carnegie Mellon's Center for Design of Educational Computing (CDEC), where he became Executive Director in 1991. While at CDEC, he was also co-principal in the 1989 EDUCOM award winner for Best Humanities Software (published in 1996 by Routledge as A Right to Die? The Dax Cowart Case). He also coauthored the CD-ROM The Issue of Abortion in America (Rountledge, 1998) Dr. Cavalier was Director of CMU's Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics and Political Philosophy from 2005-2007. He currently directs the Center's Digital Media Lab which houses Project PICOLA (Public Informed Citizen Online Assembly), and is also co-Director of Southwestern Pennsylvania Program for Deliberative Democracy. Co-Editor of Ethics in the History of Western Philosophy (St. Martin's/Macmillan, England, 1990), Editor of The Impact of the Internet on Our Moral Lives (SUNY, 2003) and other works in ethics as well as articles in educational computing, Dr. Cavalier is internationally recognized for his work in education and interactive multimedia. He was President of the "International Association for Computing and Philosophy" (2001 - 2004) and Chair of the APA Committee on Philosophy and Computers (2000-2003). Dr. Cavalier has given numerous addresses and...

Words: 14800 - Pages: 60

Premium Essay

Organizational Theory

...Organization Theory Schools of Thought Abstract Organizational theory involves identifying the different approaches to understanding organizations, which cover a wide spectrum of views over many decades. The history of organizations really starts with armies (Orlikowski, 2010). Armies were the first large-scale cooperative groups formed specifically for a purpose and they are characterized by a hierarchy of authority within which decisions are made at the top and passed down in the shape of orders which must be followed. A second early development was that of public administration whereby “organizations came into being to implement the decisions of government: initially to collect taxes, but increasingly to order and regulate society through laws and the application of various rules” (Tushman & Romanelli, 1985). Again, these organizations were characterized by hierarchy of authority and a requirement to comply with its exercise. These models for the large-scale organization of people for a purpose were, with a few exceptions, followed by business organizations as they developed in the Middle Ages and, through industrialization, came to dominate work in society. The study of organizations emerged from what some would call today sociology (Knorr, 1997). This owed its origins to philosophers turning their attention to the way in which whole societies function and, in due course, to the study also of the social constructions which are created in them. Knorr......

Words: 8615 - Pages: 35

Free Essay

You Are the Judge

...Final Exam Review – Psychology 101 INTRODUCTION You are influenced by: 1. Physiology of your nervous system 2. 5 Senses 3. Cognition – Thinking and Problem Solving 4. Social Environment 5. Personality 6. Stress & psychological disorders Psychology is the science of what? Behavior * Science Aspect * Based on Experiments * Behavior * What is behavior? Observable through * Neural * Verbal * Social * Etc. * What is behavior driven by? * Mind * Body * Environment Basic Research vs. Applied Research * Basic Research is the seeking of more knowledge but not to solve a problem * Applied Research is using knowledge to solve a problem Figuring out what a part of the brain does is an example of? Basic Research Knowing what a part of the brain does and using that information to analyze why a part of a person’s brain isn’t working correctly? Applied research BEGINNINGS OF PSYCHOLOGY Who established the first laboratory devoted to Psychology, when, and where? * William Wundt, 1879, Leipzig, Germany Before 1800, questions of the mind were reserved for what field? * Philosophy From 1800 to 1879, rapid advances took place in what field? * Physiology Early psychology applied what methods to the study of the mind? * Physiological NEURONS 1600: Descartes & the Garden of St. Germain * Statues “came to life”......

Words: 10769 - Pages: 44

Free Essay

Personality , Value and Motivators

...Personality and Individual Differences 47 (2009) 675–684 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Personality and Individual Differences journal homepage: Review Personality, values, and motivation Laura Parks a,*, Russell P. Guay b,1 a b James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, United States University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, United States a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t In this manuscript we review the constructs of personality and values, clarifying how they are related and how they are distinct. We then relate that understanding to motivation, and propose that personality and values have different influences on different motivational processes. We present a model in which personality and values influence motivation via the motivational processes of goal content and goal striving. Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Article history: Received 12 November 2008 Received in revised form 19 May 2009 Accepted 1 June 2009 Available online 26 June 2009 Keywords: Personality Values Motivation Goals 1. Personality, values, and motivation Since 1937, when Allport recommended the exclusion of evaluative traits when investigating personality, the constructs of personality and values have rarely been studied together. However, both are expected to influence a variety of behavioral outcomes, and so it seems evident that we should consider both in examining the impact of individual differences on......

Words: 10678 - Pages: 43