Blind Obedience



Blind Obedience

Blind obedience is defined as the unquestioning adherence to inherently imprecise rules, even in the face of silly or adverse consequences.
More simply, blind obedience is essentially doing something because you are told, you adhere to the rules because they are the rules. Blind obedience is unquestionable or complete obedience without giving any thought. The connotation of blind obedience is typically negative, its being passive in the face of adversity, taking the obedient route.


Blind Obedience is doing something because you are told, you put no thought of your own into the decision you do it just because you’ve been told, (typically law).
-Obedience to the state: you don’t defy or question the source of authority


Summary of Research:

Stanley Milgram began research on obedience after WWII, specifically investigating the crimes of the Nazi’s and the people who obeyed. Moreover, Milgram concluded through his findings that,

Obedience is the psychological mechanism that links individual action to political purpose. It is the dispositional cement that binds men to systems of authority. Facts of recent history and observation in daily life suggest that for many persons obedience may be a deeply ingrained behavior tendency... (Milgram)


In Milgram’s paper, Behavioral Study of Obedience, he continues on describing the importance and influence of obedience in everyday life by quoting C.P Snow, “When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion” (Snow). Milgram’s findings reveal the immense strength obedience has in everyday life, the most vile of all crimes have been committed in the name of obedience, crimes are played out in large scale when people submit and obey.



Milgram’s Study:
Milgram devised a study to explore the types and extent of obedience. Milgram described the study by summarizing, “It consists of ordering a naive subject to administer electric shock to a victim.The orders to administer shocks are given to the naive subject in the context of a "learning experiment"...” (Milgram). The study is intended to observe the subjects willingness to harm the person on the other end of the voltage. Milgram continues on to explain, “ As the experiment proceeds the naive subject is commanded to administer increasingly more intense shocks to the victim, even to the point of reaching the level marked Danger: Severe Shock” (Milgram). At this point in the experiment, Milgram was able to directly observe the subjects’ behavior, “Internal resistances become stronger, and at a certain point the subject refuses to go on with the experiment. Behavior prior to this rupture is considered "obedience," in that the subject complies with the commands of the experimenter” (Milgram).


Obedience in Society:
Obedience is present in everyone’s everyday life. In order for society to function, citizens must adhere to certain rules and restrictions. There are many things that individuals comply with without giving much thought; including traffic laws and federal/state laws. People comply with these rules for safety reasons and the general expectation of compliance. In the Needham High School community, obedience is present each and everyday. When students are given passes to see the office or something like that, there is no hesitation, students adhere to the commands. In addition, when we’re in class and told to take out our notes, we comply.
Read More:__http://www.wadsworth.com/psychology_d/templates/student_resources/0155060678_rathus/ps/ps01.html__

Works Cited:

Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioral study of obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, 371–378. Permission granted by Alexandra Milgram.

Kitchens, Michael. "A Brighter Look at Milgram's Obedience Study ." Ludwig Von
Mises Institute. The Austrian School, 4 Jan. 2011. Web. 19 Mar. 2012.
<http://mises.org/daily/4917>.

Http://mises.org/daily/4917, Ian. "“Shocking” Masculinity Stanley Milgram,
“Obedience to Authority,” and the “Crisis of Manhood” in Cold War America
." The Chicago Journal 120.2 (2011): 32. PDF file.