Obedience And Situationism

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Situationism, as Doris puts it, allows that “seemingly insubstantial situational factors have substantial effects on what people do” (Doris, p.28). Whether finding a dime promotes prosocial behavior (Isen & Levin 1972), or an experimenter being in a room with a “teacher” encourages obedience while a voice over a radio does not (Milgram experiments 1960-63), situation to a significant degree governs action, more so than a person’s virtues or personality (dispositionalism). In no way forgiving the why, situationism allows for understanding how normal people willingly commit heinous and monstrous acts (as seen with the Holocaust). With that said, this is not to say that personality has no effect on action, rather that it is not dominant as made out to be.…show more content…
The argument that, despite strong situational pressures of the Holocaust, there were Germans who engaged in heroic acts of rescue is owed to the compassion and disposition of the rescuers. This is on say if the situation was that important than these selfless acts of heroism would not occur in the situation. Surely, it is an alluring look at the people involved in the Milgram experiments and the doctor (Doris, p. 54) who refused to partake in the evil deed, and view them as acts that speak to a person’s character. Additionally, to think that Doris, who agrees with “stepwise acts” counters his own argument by relying on past experiences rather than what the situation
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