Essay on Obedience and Conformity Experiments Response

Submitted By tyywilson123
Words: 1020
Pages: 5

Obedience and Conformity Experiments Response

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes”. In the experiment videos we watched, the subjects had obedience and believed in the authority figure in each setting. If these subjects did not believe or be obedient to the authority figure, the experiment would not have worked. I feel like obedience to an authority figure is something that is naturally instilled in us. When we were younger, we were compelled to obey our parents as they stood for an authority figure in our lives. If Milgram and Zimbardo were to conduct these experiments again today, I think that they would receive similar results, although slightly decreased with compliance to obedience and conformity as they did the first time the experiment was conducted. People have changed in many ways since these experiments originally took place, but with regards to conformity, people would still act in the same ways. These experiments showed that people will conform passively and even sometimes unthinkingly to both the instructions and roles that authorities figures provide, even if they are inhumane and wrong. If these studies took place at Point Loma, I think the results would still be the same. No matter what the people will say, how they would never conform to inhumane acts like these. This is evident in some aspects of every day life, such as fashion or sports. One clothing trend becomes popular and you can start seeing people conform to that trend. Another example is sporting teams. When a professional sports team becomes popular, by winning a national title, more and more t-shirts and hats of that team start popping up around campus. From a Christian perspective, I think these experiments are a good reminder for us in our journey with God, as long as no one gets hurt mentally or physically. First of all, it is good for us to take a step back and question who we are following or being obedient to. If it is a false idol or some other god or leader causing evil, we should recognize that as wrong and turn away from it. But if it the one true God then there should be no problem. Second, it is a good for Christians to realize not to get too caught up in their selves. Such as in the Zimbardo experiments the subjects started feeling they were actually the people they were pretending to be within just a few days. The prisoners started to play the role of actual prisoners, as they conformed to what the prison guards were saying and acting. This showed that this was a situational attribution that these prisoners were displaying. Meaning, that it seemed the subjects were responding to the situation rather than the prisoner’s individual thoughts and personalities, caused the subjects to behave in the way they did. At this point these results from the Zimbardo experiment are very similar to the results with the Milgram experiments. Signifying, that ordinary people fulfill orders to inflict pain, weather it be the prison guards or the electric shocks that were thought to be pain. These people all put on different personalities when confronted with a new and different environment. In others words, these people are conforming in these experimental situations. That can be dangerous as a Christian if we put on a personality that reflects the environment we are placed in. Since the environments around us are continually changing, it is important for us to stay true to who are personalities truly are. For Christians and for people here at Point Loma, obedience will probably be stronger than compared with other groups of people. This is because here at Point Loma we are constantly reminded of scriptures of the Bible whether it is in chapel or the classroom or in everyday residential life. Most of the time these scriptures have to with obedience and following or giving up control to