The Reasoning Behind Nazi Soldier 's Actions During World War II

1031 Words May 10th, 2015 null Page
Being able to make others comply with an order, request, or law is a very powerful tool to possess. This is otherwise known as the ability to make others obey. Obedience is a form of social influence where an individual acts in response to a direct order from another individual, who is usually an authority figure. Obedience involves performing an action under the strict orders of said authority figure. It is possible to further break down obedience into constructive and destructive obedience. A set of behaviors which promotes social harmony is classified as constructive obedience. A set of behaviors which is uncritical towards immoral requests given by authority is known as destructive obedience. (Obedience Journal) In the last 100 years there has been no better example of destructive obedience than World War II. The reasoning behind Nazi soldier’s actions in World War II initially confounded psychologists, until Stanley Milgram’s controversial experiment on destructive obedience and authority in 1963 shed new light on their motivations. Few people truly understand the differences between conformity and obedience. These two influences have very similar social interactions that our society uses to manifest different groups. Conformity is a social interaction in which someone adapts their own beliefs, attitudes, and lifestyles to mend with others. Conformity comes with a subtle pressure and indirect authority. Both conformity and obedience deal with social pressures and…

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