This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Why People Become Corrupt: Conformity, Obedience And The Power Of Situation

1455 words - 6 pages

How do nice people become corrupted? Sometimes people may engage in corrupt activity because others around them are doing so. Those people may find it difficult to take a stand against the corrupt behavior even though they know it is wrong. Although every situation is unique, ordinary people can find themselves in situations where they are committing fraudulent crimes unbeknownst to themselves. Other times, people may find themselves in a different situation of committing crimes because a person of authority has asked them to participate in illegal activity. In order to understand the negative consequences that result from this social influence, it is important to analyze the concepts of conformity, obedience and the power of the situation.

Conformity is defined as a change in behavior or belief to accord with others. (Meyers 170) What other people do and say can gradually influence others to deviate from ones beliefs and conform to another’s. One of the most famous documented studies to better illustrate this was a procedure performed by social psychologist, Solomon Asch.

Asch’s Conformity Procedure took participants and presented them with a set of lines. In one case showed a single line and the other showed a trio of lines. The participant’s task was simply to find which line in the trio of lines matched the single line in length. When looking at the lines, there is only one line of the trio lines that obviously matched the single line. What Asch did was put participants in groups as collaborators, which were the actors, to turn in a specific answer. This was rigged so the collaborators would give their answers first and then the real participant who thinks he’s a participant like the rest would gives their answer after the others. What concluded through this experimented was that if you have collaborators systematically giving the wrong answer, then majority of the people will give the wrong answer in fear of being the only one to say something different. (Meyers 158) The peer pressures created by a large group are such that the individual comes to decision radically different from the decision he would reach on its own. Here signifies an instance of social influence defeating visual perception.

Obedience is defined as the act in accord with a direct order. (Meyers 170) Authority on obedience yields as another contributor as to why nice people get corrupted. One of the most famous yet partially controversial experiments performed at Yale University to understand this concept was by social psychologist, Stanley Milgram.

In the attempt to explain the social pathology of the Holocaust, Milgram thought of conducting a research of not matching but illuminating. He knew that Hitler didn’t carry out the dreadful acts alone. Milgram wanted to know how Hitler was able to get tens of thousands of ordinary German citizens willingly to engage in these most horrible atrocious actions by torturing and killing millions of people. (Levine)

Find Another Essay On Why People Become Corrupt: Conformity, Obedience and the Power of Situation

This essay is about hitlers rise to power in 1933 and why he was able to become as powerfull as he did

1361 words - 5 pages reparations of £6600 million of gold and goods for causing the war.· Classes and why people voted for Hitler.· Hitler's book (Mein Kapf), his ideas and how he became such a brilliant speaker.After World War 1, Germany had a much worse situation to come as rapid inflation occurred. The German currency was rapidly becoming worthless. By 1923 people had to carry their wages in wheelbarrows. This might sound like a good thing but the

Conformity and Obedience Essay

950 words - 4 pages Conformity and Obedience The desire to be accepted and belong to a group is an undeniable human need. But how does this need affect an individual? Social psychologists have conducted numerous experiments and concluded that, through various forms of social influence, groups can change their members' thoughts, feelings, and behavior. In her essay "Group Minds," Doris Lessing discusses our paradoxical ability to call ourselves individuals and our

“The power of conformity”

725 words - 3 pages The power of conformity is an experiment that Solomon Asch conducted that will help us understand why people conform to things they know is right. In his experiment the independent variable is the number of correct answers given by confederates or even the number of wrong answers, all depending on if Asch told them to say the correct or incorrect answer at the time. The dependent variable is the number of answers given by the participants. Asch

Factors Influencing Conformity and Obedience

2661 words - 11 pages . ====================================================================== There are three types of conformity, which may help us to understand why people conform. The first is compliance, when a person conforms although they do not agree. An example of this is footballers belonging to a club. Many clubs issue terms and conditions for the footballers to agree to, usually including a sexual intercourse and drinking ban

The Role of Power in Obedience

1291 words - 5 pages , authorities will exercise both these powers. Both powers underscore government and society’s ability to control us and to get us to obey. Why do we obey? Stanley Milgram’s Obedience to Authority, a series of experiments in which subjects were told to administer what they believed to be high-voltage electric shocks to people who they thought were experimental subjects, shows us the disturbing extent of people’s obedience in the face of power

To what extent can one find obedience, conformity and bystander effect in the case of the Manson Family murders

1015 words - 5 pages pull faces and the other person was supposed to keep up. After living in their isolated community for a while, his followers became very obedient, and perceived Manson's word to be law. They all believed that he was of a higher power, which is why he wore his hair and beard in the long fashion he is famous for, so he would resemble Jesus. He instilled in them the fear and rage against society that he felt. In addition, his preaching about

The Power of the Situation - Rodney King

1585 words - 6 pages all these people criminals who used the verdicts as an excuse to commit crimes, or was the nature of the social situation the primary determinant of this nefarious behavior? In the course of this paper, I plan to explore this question from a psychological perspective with an emphasize on conformity and social norms, bystander intervention, social perception and reality, and finally, prejudice. Generally looking at the Los Angeles riots, and

Describe and evaluate research into either obedience or conformity

1537 words - 7 pages Conformity is a word most people are familiar with, but what this truly is, and its significance is harder to answer. In 1991, Zimbardo and Leippe defined it as: “A change in belief or behaviour in response to real or imagined group pressure when there is no direct request to comply with the group nor any reason to justify the behaviour change” (Gross, 2010, p401). Conformity and Obedience are both in part a result of social influence. The key

Is or has the Premier League become corrupt?

2112 words - 9 pages an Arsenal fan was banned for life for throwing a banana at Gareth Bale even though fans are aware of these punishments racism is still there in football. And the main question people want answers to from FIFA is will racism ever be stopped in football? Is football affected by match fixing/bribery? Friday 15 November 2013: During football these days there are many people who spend a lot of money on betting on things like first person to score

The Ups and Downs of Conformity

1538 words - 6 pages The question of individualism vs. conformity comes to mind when dealing with the human psyche. Some people value being independent and self-sufficient, while some like to keep themselves in the confines of conformity. The American society tends to lean towards the conformist point of view and it is mostly due to the effects of media. Americans crave the idea of association and strive to become the individuals that the media deems worthy

The Possibility of China and India Become a New Global Power

2396 words - 10 pages independent innovation is another expression of a strong comprehensive national power. China to some extent with its leading position in aerospace science and biotechnology has become a world technology superpower. Roger Cliff (2011) states that China producing civilian space system has contributed to the capability of developing military space system, besides, the home-made launch vehicles used for both domestic civil and military purposes. Apparently

Similar Essays

Why Do People Become Drug Dealers

2280 words - 10 pages There have been many studies that have been conducted to determine why people become drug dealers, and what makes these drug dealers “tick.” There are four main articles that will be discussed to help answer the question of why people become drug dealers. These articles include “The Motives and Mechanics of Operating an Illegal Drug Enterprise”, “Researching Dealers and Smugglers”, “Researching Crack Dealers”, and lastly, “Drifting into Dealing

The Influence Of Conformity And Obedience

2929 words - 12 pages group norms will demonstrate the utility of social psychology in the real world. Although the prospective for evil and good exist in the world and the situation the individual experiences can activate either domain, social psychology can facilitate a better understanding of those situation and alleviate the potential for evil. Conformity and Obedience Conforming is the act of bending to perceived group pressure and mimicking the actions or

Why Volcanoes Become Active And Passive From The Different Perspectives Of Authors. How People Have Made Up Stories In Order To Understand The Reasons On How Volcanoes Became Active

928 words - 4 pages Volcanoes and its Associated FolkloreVolcanoes tremble, rumble, explode, and rip themselves apart destroying acres of land, millions of homes and killing thousands of people. For centuries people around the world were powerless to understand the earth's convulsions and ability to cause such horrific destruction. Looking for explanations, stories were conjured up of superhuman forces, folklore and myths as a conclusion to why this natural

How And Why I Became A Writer A Description Of Some Interesting Factors Which Prompted Me To Become A Writer, Which Could Motivate Some Other People To Take To Writing, Too

921 words - 4 pages How and why I became a writer How and why I became a writer ������Man is driven by instincts and impulses.� Once his basic needs are satisfied, his attention turns to higher needs and to satisfy his higher needs, he has to equip himself with the required knowledge and skill sets.� In his pursuit of higher learning, he reaches a point where he feels the urge to share his knowledge and experience with others, for mutual benefit.� My