According to Milgram's obedience experiment, what role does authority play in obedience?

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According to the results of this experiment, authority (or perceived authority) causes people to feel that they should obey even if they are told to do something that they would otherwise find abhorrent.

In this experiment, 65% of the subjects were willing to (they thought) inflict pain on other people...

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According to the results of this experiment, authority (or perceived authority) causes people to feel that they should obey even if they are told to do something that they would otherwise find abhorrent.

In this experiment, 65% of the subjects were willing to (they thought) inflict pain on other people simply because they were pushed to do so by a person that they perceived as an authority figure.  The major conclusion to be drawn from this is that people will do things that they know are wrong if an authority figure tells them to do so.  This will happen even if they are not being physically coerced to comply.  Authority, then, compels obedience (if Milgram's experiment was valid).

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