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Word Count: 2,185
Abstract Most if not all humans have some ethics and morals which help the individual make distinctions between right and wrong Therefore in most situations human beings behave in accordance with their morality Studies on notions such as obedience to authority and deindividuation have shown that in some cases an individual can be made to act in direct opposition to their morals and ethics Studies conducted by Milgram 1963 on obedience have shown that if an individual is ordered to do something by someone who is perceived to be in power it is possible that they will do it even if it is something the person does not believe is right Also studies conducted by Zimbardo 1973 on deindividuation have shown that a normally healthy intelligent person can lose their identity in a crowd and commit acts of violence and aggression which they would not normally commit According to the deindividuation theory this is because the individual feels that they can no longer be singled out and held personally responsible for behaviour The studies conducted by Zimbardo 1973 and Milgram 1963 have been examined and compared in this essay The notions of obedience and deindividuation have been the subject of some very informative and sometimes disturbing research by social psychologists Obedience is defined by Moghaddam 1998 as changes in behaviour that arise when people follow the instructions of persons in authority Our tendency to comply with authority figures can be surprisingly strong Bourne Russo 1998 Experiments on the subject particularly those conducted by Milgram 1963 have shown that though obedience is in many forms positive it can also be extremely negative instigating individuals to commit acts of violence or aggression of which they would not normally partake Deindividuation is defined by Moghaddam 1998 as The loss of ones sense of self identity as an individual person associated with lower self awareness and decreased personal
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