Nothing by mere authority: evidence that in an experimental analogue of the Milgram paradigm participants are motivated not by orders but by appeals to science

Haslam, S. Alexander, Reicher, Stephen D. and Birney, Megan E. (2014) Nothing by mere authority: evidence that in an experimental analogue of the Milgram paradigm participants are motivated not by orders but by appeals to science. Journal of Social Issues, 70 3: 473-488. doi:10.1111/josi.12072


Author Haslam, S. Alexander
Reicher, Stephen D.
Birney, Megan E.
Title Nothing by mere authority: evidence that in an experimental analogue of the Milgram paradigm participants are motivated not by orders but by appeals to science
Journal name Journal of Social Issues   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1540-4560
0022-4537
Publication date 2014-09
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/josi.12072
Open Access Status
Volume 70
Issue 3
Start page 473
End page 488
Total pages 16
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Milgram's classic studies are widely understood to demonstrate people's natural inclination to obey the orders of those in authority. However, of the prods that Milgram's Experimenter employed to encourage participants to continue the one most resembling an order was least successful. This study examines the impact of prods more closely by manipulating them between-participants within an analogue paradigm in which participants are instructed to use negative adjectives to describe increasingly pleasant groups. Across all conditions, continuation and completion were positively predicted by the extent to which prods appealed to scientific goals but negatively predicted by the degree to which a prod constituted an order. These results provide no support for the traditional obedience account of Milgram's findings but are consistent with an engaged followership model which argues that participants’ willingness to continue with an objectionable task is predicated upon active identification with the scientific project and those leading it.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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