A Research Note on Delegation of Responsibility in the Observation of a Situation of Obedience to Authority

Abstract : The objective of the research described here is to discover whether the features of obedience must be present in order for responsibility to be so attributed or whether the status of the actors and the meaning of the situation are sufficient. In two studies, we present animation showing the movements of three geometrical figures. The subjects are asked to describe the action and to divide 100% of responsibility between the three figures. The first study, conducted face to face (22 subjects), shows that a figure presented as an authority as opposed to a person is seen to take on a determining role in the action and is attributed 40% responsibility (vs. 17.9%). A second study (92 subjects) confirms this mechanism when the figure is presented as having other resources at its disposal (hypnotism and manipulation). The status of the actors and the meaning of the situation are therefore sufficient to prompt the attribution of responsibility to the figure presented as having the resources. These results lend support critiques of the agentic state theory.
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https://hal.univ-rennes2.fr/hal-01780289
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Submitted on : Friday, April 27, 2018 - 1:32:55 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 4:44:02 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01780289, version 1

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Stéphane Laurens. A Research Note on Delegation of Responsibility in the Observation of a Situation of Obedience to Authority . Imagination, Cognition and Personality, SAGE Publications, 2016, 36 (2), pp.116-127. ⟨hal-01780289⟩

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