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Effects of Obedience and Conformity

Prepare a response in which you evaluate the effect of group influence on the self-using classical and contemporary literature. Address the following in your paper:
1) Compare and contrast the concepts of conformity and obedience.
2) Analyze a classic study concerning the effect of group influence on the self.
3) Analyze a contemporary study concerning the effect of group influence on the self.
4) Analyze the individual and societal influences that led some to deviate from dominant societal norms.

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(1) Compare and contrast the concepts of conformity and obedience.
In a brief definition, conformity refers to the behaviors of a person who goes along with their peers, who have no important social right to direct their behavior (Milgram, 1974 as cited in Bethwar, 2000), p. 504). Obedience refers to a person who complies with authority. Comparatively, conformity and obedience are similar is that in both an individual relinquishes his or her own judgment, or belief system for another. By contrast, based on the process of conformity one changes his or her behavior to adopt the views of another. On the other hand, with the process of obedience, one may not necessarily adopt someone's views; but complies with the directions or demands anyway.
In addition, according to Baron, Byrne & Branscombe (2006), obedience to the commands of an authority figure is very effective, because the authoritative figure as a way of being effective and enforcing their orders. On the other hand, individuals lacking in power often produce high levels of submission (p. 364). The pressure to conform, as noted by Baron et al., is due to the fact that there are rules in society suggesting how individuals should behave. As they stress further, compliance and obedience are powerful tools in social life and play a role in many settings including personal relationships and work settings.

(2) Analyze a classic study concerning the effect of group influence on the self.

Badhwar (2009) highlights a number of classic studies to emphasize the point that most people are highly "akratic" [acting against one's better judgment] and "heteronomous" [differing in development]. However, he asserts that this perspective of the Aristotelian virtue in not global'; it is unlike local, situation-specific virtues entailing what matters in life and connected to our traits and/or behaviors (p. 257). Thus in reference to experiment, Badhwar utilizes Milgram's (1974) experiment to explain human awareness of how easily unobtrusive, factors in a given situations can make people susceptible to behaviors such as: (a) obedience and conformity, (b) cruelty, or (c) indifference to the welfare of others.
In analyzing his experiments in obedience Milgram (1974 as cited in Badhwar, 2009) subjected a number of men (N=40) to a shock machine that began with the delivery of 30 volts, and subsequently was increased to 450 volts. Based on the experiment, each person portrayed the role of a teacher who would deliver a shock to a student (Baron et al., 2006). As the experiment is further explained, the person inflicting the pain was ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the the concepts of obedience and conformity to group influence