Factors Affecting Obedience


Obedience means changing behaviour because of a direct order from a legitimate authority figure. We are all affected by obedience, and often do not question what makes the individual giving the order the authority to make demands that we are to respond to. There are many factors which affect our level of obedience.


If there is someone in society who is perceived to be superior to us, we are more likely to obey them unquestioningly, for example a policeman or less officially, our parents. For example, in a classroom environment, if one of your classmates told you to be quiet you would be more likely to ignore the command than if the request came from a teacher, a person of more power and authority. This theory is further proved by the Bickman (1974) experiment in which people dressed in normal clothes, as a milkman or as a security guard asked passers…

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