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2. Variations and the Agentic State
About this Lecture
In this module, we discuss some of the variations of the original obedience study conducted by Milgram and think about how these led him to develop the theory of the ‘agentic state’. We begin by looking at a series of conditions in which Milgram varied the proximity between participant and confederate, before exploring some conditions which focussed on the relationship between the participant and the authority figure (the experimenter) as a variable. Finally, we explore the theoretical ideas Milgram developed from his research into obedience, focussing in particular on his concept of the ‘agentic state’.
In this course, Dr Stephen Gibson (York St John University) discusses Stanley Milgram’s obedience experiments. Module one begins by introducing Milgram’s experimental procedure and the findings which resulted from his study. We then move on, in module two, to explore different variations of Milgram’s baseline study and think about the theory of the agentic state which he developed from his work. Module three covers some early criticisms of Milgram’s method and ethics, while module four looks at more recent studies which have sought to re-examine Milgram’s work in the light of archival records held at Yale University. Finally, in module five, we explore how a re-interpretation of the Milgram experiments in the context of language and rhetoric can lead us to a new definition of the concept of obedience itself.
Dr Stephen Gibson has been at York St John University since September 2005, before which he undertook his doctoral research in the Department of Psychology, Lancaster University. His research uses discursive and rhetorical approaches to explore a range of social psychological topics, including citizenship, national identity, dis/obedience and representations of peace and conflict.
Cite this Lecture
Gibson, S. (2019, September 27). Obedience - Variations and the Agentic State [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/obedience/variations-and-the-agentic-state
Gibson, Stephen. "Obedience – Variations and the Agentic State." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Sep 2019, https://massolit.io/courses/obedience/variations-and-the-agentic-state