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Video: The Authority Hoax - You Don't Know What You Would Do!

Joseph Sparks

1st November 2016

The Obedience Topic is one of my favourites and the following video provides a powerful and quite frankly horrendous real-life depiction of what happens when obedience goes wrong.

Zimbardo introduces the video and describes an event which later became known as ‘The Authority Hoax’ which led to a manager of a McDonald’s Store stripping a customer to check for drugs because a policeman told her to.

I usually show the following video after teaching explanations for obedience and dispositional explanations for obedience, as the video provides a great opportunity for discussion. There are so many questions to consider following this video: How does this video relate to Milgram’s study? Which variation of Milgram’s study does this video relate to and why? Why do you think the woman obeyed?

However, the question that will keep you going is: Would you respond in the same way?

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Joseph Sparks

Joseph is a Subject Advisor for Psychology at tutor2u. He is an experienced Psychology & Music Teacher, Writer, Examiner and Presenter. He is currently completing a Professional Doctorate in Education and is passionate about the impact of technology on teaching and learning.

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