12 Sep 2022


The One Factor That Increases Obedience The Most

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Q1. Factors that increase obedience, the one with the greatest effect and the explanation 

Obedience is yielding to instructions or orders, albeit from a superior human influence in any situation. Obedience is influenced by several factors in the social life of human beings. These factors as demonstrated by Milgram’s experiment point to an increased attitude of obedience when a higher authority gives commands than anyone, for instance, a volunteer. Again, obedience increases based on the institution where one is working from, the more prestigious the institution, the higher the obedience (Gibson, 2013). It also increases with proximity, for instance if the authority giving the instructions is in the same place with those being ordered, then obedience increases. Lastly, in increases when a subject sees that no one is disobeying the commands. However, of all these factors, influence by authority has the greatest effect because it is natural for human beings to submit to authority (Gibson, 2013). 

Q2. How Milgram’s obedience experiments were ethical and the reason 

Milgram’s obedience experiment can be said to be both ethical and unethical. Ethically, people obey orders out of fear of getting punishment or consequences of not obeying. It means that if there were no consequences of disobeying, everyone will do their things and create anarchy. The experiment was ethical in helping the researcher understand how subjects can obey based on perception and not internal abilities (Gibson, 2013). However, the experiment failed the ethical test when the researcher deceived the participants that they were to take part in a study about punishment and learning. The actual focus of the study was to listen and obey orders from an experimenter. Again, the shocking experiment is unethical to the participants and as such Milgram failed to adhere to ethical considerations required in any study or survey. Furthermore, the participants were not to question the experiment otherwise, they would be told to repeat further and this jeopardized their health. 

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Chapter 7 

Q1 paths that lead to persuasion 

Persuasion is the process through which a message or information given can induce a change in beliefs, behavior or attitudes. There are two main paths to persuasion. The first path is the central route to persuasion where one is convinced to change their attitude or behavior due to the content of the message or arguments presented. For instance, one can change their political views based on the argument presented by a candidate on some important issues (Shove, Pantzar & Watson, 2012). The second path to persuasion is the peripheral path where one may be persuaded in a way that does not consider the content of the message or argument but other factors like the attractiveness or the sound of one’s voice. The essence here is that one fails to evaluate the content and get persuaded by superficial cues rather than think. It only succeeds if the message is not involving or irrelevant to the people. 

Q2. The elements of persuasion 

There are four elements to persuasion. Persuasion occurs based on who is communicating, in this case the communicator. The second element is the message or what the communicator is stating or saying that informs the content they are offering. The other element is the channel of communication where people consider how the content of the message was said to the fourth element, the audience (Shove, Pantzar & Watson, 2012). The audience is keen on getting all the facts in the message so as to make a decision on what it wants and if it shall be persuaded. These four aspects of persuasion allow the process to achieve the objectives required. Furthermore, it is from these aspects that one may or may not resist persuasion (Gibson, 2013). 

Q3. Extreme persuasion: How cults indoctrinate 

A cult is not a sect, but it may be a religious body that has separated from the mainstream denomination, for instance, Moon’s Unification Church. The indoctrination of a cult happens due to attitudes and persuasive elements. When one decides to comply it follows that they are bound to accept the invite, something that cult leaders take advantage of and move to indoctrinate the members so that they show a commitment to the group. Therefore, they exploit this to their advantage and ask members to commit in public that they are members (Shove, Pantzar & Watson, 2012). Persuasive elements help cults to get members through charismatic leaders that can express and pass the message effectively to the audience. The communicator gets a vivid message that he or she delivers to evoke emotions and acceptance from the audience. Therefore, extreme persuasion targets young educated people whose attitudes and values are unstable. The audience may also have middle-class people seeking explanations on a variety of issues affecting them. Persuasion then becomes a tool to lure them into cults unknowingly. 

Q4. How persuasion be resisted 

Persuasion is not wrong and as such many may want to resist it in one way or the other. However, extreme persuasion may need to be resisted. One can resist persuasion by strengthening personal commitment. An individual can do this by challenging their beliefs and developing counterarguments to change the narrative they have heard. Secondly, inoculation of attitude is very critical in resisting persuasion. Such inoculation must begin at the family level where children are inoculated against peer pressure, for instance against life forming habits like smoking (Shove, Pantzar & Watson, 2012). Again, social habits can be changed when inoculation happens to the young people in the society. The stimulation of commitment will ensure that one can counter argue the values that they believe in as opposed to the persuasive language that may emanate from speakers and peers. One needs to defend their attitudes so as to offer resistance to persuasion that is negative and not content-based. 

Chapter 13 

Q1. What creates conflict 

Conflicts are strong disagreements that occur between individuals, organizations, and sometimes nations. There are many factors that create conflict, especially at an organizational and community levels. One of the factors is lack of information. Incomplete information breeds a conflict since there are no facts to help them make good decisions. Secondly, relationships create conflict, especially where there is poor communication or emotions where a party may question the other’s motives or will in achieving a particular goal (Gibson, 2013). The third factor that creates conflict is different value system that exists in a society where certain values may not be acceptable in some communities as opposed to others. The last factor may stem from resources as populations compete for the scarce opportunities and resources in the community where different players have particular interests that are competing. The essence is that conflict cannot be avoided but creating solutions during conflicts leads to peace. 

Q2. How peace can be achieved 

Peace is achieved when the society understands that it is inherent to human existence. The best way to exist in the world is through the cultivation of peace. Making peace involves the participation of all people, especially leaders who are influential (Gibson, 2013). We must stop arming ourselves with heavy artillery and strive to ensure that resources are distributed equitably in the world. Personal peace is very important in achieving the overall good of the community. An individual at peace is bound to generate creative and innovative solutions to problems that exist in the society today. Finally, institutions like the United Nations Organization must be allowed to work independently to help the world achieve peace. Leaders have a role to play as their persuasive language influences and increases obedience among the subjects. Real peace comes when we are honest with one another and can stand by what we believe. 


Gibson, S. (2013). Milgram's obedience experiments: A rhetorical analysis. British Journal of 

Social Psychology, Vol.52, No.2, pp290-309. Online: Wiley Online Library 

Shove, E., Pantzar, M., & Watson, M. (2012). The dynamics of social practice: everyday life and 

how it changes. New York: Sage Publications. 

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