How Does Authority Influence Human Behavior? What Kinds Of Authority Are The Most Influential?

2061 Words Mar 16th, 2016 9 Pages
Humanities Midterm
Question #1) How does authority influence human behavior? What kinds of authority are the most influential? Whether one acknowledges it or not we all obey authority in one way or another. It is something that is embedded into us from the day that we are born. We begin to become obedient to our parents, elders, our teachers, law enforcement, the list goes and on. Authority has a major impact on human behavior. This is especially evident in the case of the concentration camps in Germany. There were hundreds if not thousands of people following Hitlers unethical orders, and clearly they outnumbered the one person controlling it all. However, they did not go against him but they simply followed his orders. For a person to obey authority, one has to accept that it is legal, and right for the order to be made of them. It also involves somebody of a higher power or status to be involved in making the commands. In the case of Adolf Eichmann, the person in charge of planning the collection, transportation and extermination of hundreds of thousands of people, he stated that, “ The orders were, for me, the highest thing in my life and I had to obey them without question.” He had a role in the murders of thousands and thousands of people, yet he justifies it by saying that he was simply obeying orders. Eichmann was not a psychopath by any means in fact, he was described as very average and declared sane by six different psychiatrists. Authority had and…
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