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Obedience and the Conformity

Discuss about the Principles of Psychology for Human Psychology.

Human psychology is the part of human mind that deals with all the behavioural aspects of the person. Along with that, it embraces all the conscious and unconscious thoughts and experiences of the human mind. Among the behavioural aspects of human psychology obedience is one of the forms raised from the social influence which represents the action of one person in response from another individual (Buss, 2015). Obedience is the reflex action of one person in response to the order from the other individual specifically from authority. Therefore the action of obedience is generated when the order comes from the authority, but at the same time, the conformity is the concept that gets raised by exerting social pressure upon the individual. In other words, the conformity is the description of the group pressure upon the individual (Heider, 2013). Both the obedience and the conformity are the resultant of the action represented by the authority. Also, both can depicted as the type of social influence that helps the individual in getting absorbed in the workplace.

Obedience and the conformity both are the behavioural aspects of psychology which come out with the social influence of the surrounding people or an authority figure in the organization. The nature of obedience is a particular form of compliance that is influenced by the behaviour of authority whereas the concept of conformity is the behavioural part that gets affected from the majority of people (James, 2013). It is the impact of human psychology due to which they tend to show characteristics behavioural features as per the situation.

For example, during organizing the Holocaust where here was the preparation of death camps in which six million Jewish people, communists, gypsies and the trade unionists were transported and afterward murdered. It happened in place of Nazi Germany and its surrounding areas. At that time, a person namely, Adolf Eichmann who was supposed to be the logistical genius in the process of Holocaust, given the task of efficient collection, transportation as well as the extermination of the people those who are killed in the Holocaust (Koffka, 2013). In the initial phase, Eichmann got surprised with the Jewish people as he was blindly following the orders of the superiors. But it can be said that it was a good part on account of Eichmann which deals with strictly going through the words of its superiors. That is the reason Eichmann described his condition in his words in which he has said that the orders given by the superiors were the most important thing in his life that he needs to follow at any cost as well as without any question (Mowday, Porter & Steers, 2013). In that case, when the situation came to the discovery regarding the psychological condition of Eichmann after this particular job, the psychiatrists declared him sane and a very average individual. Instead of finding out any of the uncomfortable possibility it was found in the fact that this particular behaviour of Eichmann was because of the social situation in which he was living. Therefore it can be said from Eichmann’s situation that anyone under such circumstances must be capable of doing such monstrous activities (Neisser, 2014).  

Stanley Milgram's Experiment on Obedience

This instance led the investigation of this action of human behaviour that shows the clear description of the human obedience. Therefore an experimental investigation is carried out by the Stanley Milgram to carry out the study regarding the obedience factor. Stanley Milgram was a famous psychologist from the University of Yale went through the research process to carry out the experiment majorly focusing on the conflicts occurred in between the obedience performed towards the authority hampering the personal conscience and the conformity of the individual (Smith, 2015). Milgram tends to start the experiment on the obedience the year after the questioning upon Adolf Eichmann.

Stanley Milgram started his experiment by taking upon interest to carry out the research regarding how far people can go in the context of obeying the instructions of superiors that can go on harming other people. He again started the experiment by thinking about how the ordinary people get influenced from the atrocities of the society. Due to that reason he took the example of German during the World War II. In the experiment, Milgram did the pairing in between the participant and any other person. Between the experiments, it was mandatory to find out about the learner and the teacher in the group. Due to this Milgram settled that the participant in the experiment will always be a teacher whereas the learner will be the person whom Milgram will settle down in the group. It can be said that the learner in the group will be one of the confederates of Milgram. In further proceedings, the learner took action where he was taken into a room (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). In that room, the electrodes are connected in his arms.

At the same time, the teacher and the researcher are supposed to be in the next room at the next door where there was an electric shock generator with having a row of switches. These switches are marked from mild shock to sever shock with the voltage ranging from 15 volts to 375 to 450 volts of current. In that scenario of experiment, the learner purposefully gave wrong answers by the result of which the teacher gave the electric shock to the learner. At any point when the teacher cancelled to give the shock at that time the researcher ordered him to provide the shock as per the series of order. In that scenario, there were four prods in the experimental process in which all must be followed as per the order one by one. If in any case one is not followed the researcher will read out for the next prod and the process will be continued in such process. Out of the four prods, the prod1 says for “Please Continue,” prod two calls for “The experiment requires you to continue,” prod 3 says “It is essential that you continue” and finally prod 4 gives a final call “You have no other choice but to continue.” After the experiment Milgram concluded with that obedience is the factor ingrained within the human behavior since the birth. But it is mandatory to obey the authority after recognizing the moral quality of work which is furthermore gets legitimated by going through a variety of situations in life.

Phillip Zimbardo's Experiment on Conformity

Another experiment again conducted to reach out the study on obedience. This experiment or research conducted by Phillip Zimbardo. This experiment was aiming towards investigation regarding the conformity of people for obeying to play the roles of guard and the prisoner in a role-playing exercise that eventually affects to bring some stimulation in the prison life. For this reason, the students of college created a pseudo-environment of prison which is helpful to carry out the studying the impacts of social forces upon the behaviour of the participants (Wickens et al., 2015). It is somehow different from the Milgram experiment as here some of the participants placed as prisoners, and some placed as the prison guards. The whole settlement of the experiment was done just because to make the scenario to get suited so that it would resemble the prison environment. At the same, it was done for the induction of exact psychological condition of the imprisonment of the people. Further, this experiment came out with the desired results for which the experimentation set up was implemented. In this study, there were two types of result of the behavioural aspect of the people. That is the reason, Zimbardo found that guards were obedient in the experiment but in the matter condition, they were somehow found to be turned aggressive. At the same time, prisoners were found to be of hostile in nature towards the guards. The emergence of these two types of psychological behaviour in the experiment Zimbardo found it very difficult to carry it further (Zuckerman, 2014). He has also concluded in the process that the conformity of the people is very much expected within the population of people. In fact, it is said that people were very rapid in getting conformed to their social roles that they are expected to play. When the scenario is of like the prison guards, they will get conformed more rapidly.

In the experiment of Zimbardo, the issue raised is just because there occurred the shifting of the responsibility in prison. It made them more dependent upon the guards which made them take advantage of the situation. The scenario of the experiment made the selection of the role for the guards with having the sunglasses to make proper eye contact with the prisoners (Smith, 2015). It is also evident from the case scenario that this type of obedience in the prison is quite destructive in nature which led to the situation that Zimbardo has to stop the prison scenario in six days. At the same time, the obedience in the case of Stanley Milgram study is quite good which shows a positive psychological condition of human behaviour.

Conclusion

The above-described situation is the description of the psychological condition as per the human behavioural aspects. That is the reason the essay includes the description of the behaviour like obedience and conformity on the authority. The essay, therefore, concludes that obedience is the respect that is showed by the people towards the authority. And also the conformity is a possession that comes out when more difficult demands take place along with the responsibility of the authority. These behavioural aspects come out with an expectation from the people as a routine behaviour. 

References

Buss, D. (2015). Evolutionary psychology: The new science of the mind. Psychology Press.

Heider, F. (2013). The psychology of interpersonal relations. Psychology Press.

James, W. (2013). The principles of psychology. Read Books Ltd.

Koffka, K. (2013). Principles of Gestalt psychology (Vol. 44). Routledge.

Mowday, R. T., Porter, L. W., & Steers, R. M. (2013). Employee—organization linkages: The psychology of commitment, absenteeism, and turnover. Academic press.

Neisser, U. (2014). Cognitive psychology: Classic edition. Psychology Press.

Smith, J. A. (Ed.). (2015). Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. Sage.

Seligman, M.E. and Csikszentmihalyi, M., 2014. Positive psychology: An introduction (pp. 279-298). Springer Netherlands.

Wickens, C. D., Hollands, J. G., Banbury, S., & Parasuraman, R. (2015). Engineering psychology & human performance. Psychology Press.

Zuckerman, M. (2014). Sensation Seeking (Psychology Revivals): Beyond the Optimal Level of Arousal. Psychology Press.

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