Obedience and the brain

I thought it was about time I started using the blog facility on my website , so here we go with my first post in a while. I thought some of you might enjoy the following snippet which could bring your evaluation of agency theory bang up to date. It could also be used in an Issues and Debates essay on the way in which social psychology has developed over time. Caspar (2016) argue that social coercion, that is pressure to follow orders, ‘may alter mechanisms of voluntary agency, and hence abolish the normal experience of being in control of one’s own actions’. The researchers describe a type of brain wave called ‘N1’ which are bigger when people are behaving voluntarily and it was noted that when the participants in this study were following orders from the authority figure, their EEG revealed smaller N1 waves. The study seems to have come up with the long-awaited neurological signatures of Milgram’s agentic and autonomous states. Following the link will take you to the BPS research digest summary of this study where you can learn more. IF you want to know more about EEGs, try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ovv6lmPHSI

Challenge: How many different ways can you think of to use this study?



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