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Volume :18 Issue : 2 1990      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Effect of Authority on aggression and its Relationship with personality

Auther : Muhamed Mehdi Mahmud

The aim of this study is to determine the extent to which subjects would yield to authority in the administration of aggression toward experimental animals, and to see if there is a relationship with individual personality traits.

The possibility of predicting such behavior from personality profiles is also investigated. The subjects of the experiment were 100 male and female psychology students at al-Mustansiria University, who were asked by the experimenter to administer a series of electric shocks increasing in voltage to experimental animals. While an assistant expressed sympathy for the animals, in reality no increase in shock was given. The Bernreuter Inventory of Personality was given to the students in a separate study. The findings indicate that all members of the sample yielded to authority, 94% giving the maximal voltage. There were no statistical differences between the sexes, though significant differences were seen in individual personality traits. 

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