Working towards the experimenter: Reconceptualizing obedience within the Milgram paradigm as identification-based followership

Reicher, S. D., Haslam, S. A. and Smith, J. R. (2012) Working towards the experimenter: Reconceptualizing obedience within the Milgram paradigm as identification-based followership. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7 4: 315-324. doi:10.1177/1745691612448482


Author Reicher, S. D.
Haslam, S. A.
Smith, J. R.
Title Working towards the experimenter: Reconceptualizing obedience within the Milgram paradigm as identification-based followership
Journal name Perspectives on Psychological Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1745-6916
1745-6924
Publication date 2012-07
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1745691612448482
Volume 7
Issue 4
Start page 315
End page 324
Total pages 10
Place of publication Washington, DC United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The behavior of participants within Milgram's obedience paradigm is commonly understood to arise from the propensity to cede responsibility to those in authority and hence to obey them. This parallels a belief that brutality in general arises from passive conformity to roles. However, recent historical and social psychological research suggests that agents of tyranny actively identify with their leaders and are motivated to display creative followership in working toward goals that they believe those leaders wish to see fulfilled. Such analysis provides the basis for reinterpreting the behavior of Milgram's participants. It is supported by a range of material, including evidence that the willingness of participants to administer 450-volt shocks within the Milgram paradigm changes dramatically, but predictably, as a function of experimental variations that condition participants' identification with either the experimenter and the scientific community that he represents or the learner and the general community that he represents. This reinterpretation also encourages us to see Milgram's studies not as demonstrations of conformity or obedience, but as explorations of the power of social identity-based leadership to induce active and committed followership
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Psychology Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 12 Apr 2013, 13:09:06 EST by Mrs Alison Pike on behalf of School of Psychology