Is extreme obedience necessary for society - Essay Example

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One can respond to issued orders to a certain degree. Absolute response to any order can therefore be referred to as extreme obedience. This means that the person carrying out…
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Is extreme obedience necessary for society
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Download file to see previous pages Extreme obedience leads to compliance of social norms in society. It ensures that people follow the set rules in society, thus promoting law and order in the society. Such obedience makes it easy for authority bodies to exert laws, which promote co-existence in the society. The obedience also makes it possible to establish hierarchies in organizations as there must be people at the top of an organization, as well as subordinates for organizations to function effectively.
The Milgrim experiment provides a case that depicts compliance to extreme obedience. The experiment involved a research aimed at studying the effects of punishment on learning. The subjects of the experiment were given the role of a teacher, and were meant to make another subject learn a list of word pairs (McLeod, 1). They were then to give the learner an electric shock, and increase the shock level every time the learner made a mistake. Two thirds of the teachers used in the experiment administered the highest level of the electric shock, despite the learner complaining of pain.
This experiment showed that authority figures have capacity to exert extreme obedience on their subjects. The teachers were commanded by an authority to administer high levels of pain, and most of them acted in response to the commands, thus administering the highest level of the electric shock. However, one third of the research subjects did not administer the highest level of the electric shock, which means that not everybody follows the given orders strictly.
The Zimbardo jail role-play involved the use of students to play the role of prisoners and guards (Zimbardo 1). Those who took up the role of guards acted in extreme brutality, while those in the role of prisoners acted in complete obedience to the guards. This showed that people, and in this case the prisoners tend to obey orders given by authority figures.
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