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University of Toronto Scarborough

Obedience  obedience is the act/habit of doing what one is told or submitting to authority  obedience is the act of doing what one is told, usually by someone in authority  ex: dog is trained to be obedient to owner; military personnel trained to be obedient to commanders  obedience is different from compliance and conformity—compliance is influenced by peers, conformity is behaviour that matches the majority (may be influenced by peers)  obedience is about power, and submitting to authority; most people comply with the rules of society and obey authority in order to avoid public sanctions/punishment Charles Hofling’s Obedience Study  Hofling conducted experiments of obedience in the medical profession  Hofling extended Milgram’s obedience experiment (sending electric shocks) into the medical field  he looked to see if nurses would carry out the orders of doctors whom they didn’t know and never met in person  experiment had 22 night nurses on duty at a hospital, and Hofling created the character “Dr. Smith” for the experiment  Dr. Smith phoned each of the nurses during one of their shifts, and asked each nurse to check the availability of a fake drug called Astroten  when the nurse checked the availability, she saw the maximum recommended dosage was 10 mg; when the nurses reported the error to Dr. Smit, they were assured it would be fine to administer the drug despite label  Dr. Smith pretended to be in a hurry, and told nurses he would sign authorization forms when he came in to do rounds  dilemma of the nurses was whether to follow Dr. Smith’s orders and risk the patient’s life or administer the wrong dose and break 3 hospital rules (accepting orders over the phone, delivering a dose that was over maximum limit, and using an unauthorized medicine)  results showed 21/22 nurses administered the drug according to Dr. Smith’s instructions  Hofling concluded that people will reluctantly question authority figures and would rather be wrong than disobey orders  proved medical field to be dangerous—nurses took orders over the phone and obeyed the authority figure of a doctor they never met Aggression  aggression is any action that is intended to injure, harm, or inflict pain on another living being/group of living beings  aggression could be physical, or verbal hostility  aggression can include many categories of behaviour (verbal, road rage, child abuse, war)  throughout a person’s lifetime, unique brands of aggression pop up, challenging the individual
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