Title

Cheater, Cheater: Self-Awareness' influence on authority obedience

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Public and Community Health

Minor

Psychology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Jana Hackathorn

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

The phenomenon of obedience in our world is the driving force behind many of history’s most infamous events. The leaders of these events were all acting as immoral authority figures and their influence had large impact on the actions of the followers. Studies that look at the power of authority, such as the Milgram study. has shown that this power is able to override an individual’s own preferences on how to act (Cialdini, 2009). The morality of the people who assisted in these events, i.e. the Nazi Soldiers, have been debated. Did the individuals participate because they are bad people or was it due to the immorality of the leader? In simulated situations, moral individuals were found to have heightened amount of neural activity in area of the brain responsible for feelings of self, personal salience, and high-level consciousness (Immordino-Yang, 2011). The effect of self-awareness of an individual in making a choice under the influence of an immoral authority figure has not be specifically looked at. The study is created in order determine if self-awareness is able to override the power of the immoral authority. The participants will be asked to cheat on a packet containing trivia questions. will be less likely to use the answer key to cheat on a trivia packet. Analysis of data will help decipher if individuals who are sitting in front of a mirror (self-aware) will be less likely to cheat than individuals who are not sitting in front of a mirror (not self-aware).

Keywords: self-awareness, obedience, morality, cheating, education

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Psychology Department Panel: Projects In-Process

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Cheater, Cheater: Self-Awareness' influence on authority obedience

The phenomenon of obedience in our world is the driving force behind many of history’s most infamous events. The leaders of these events were all acting as immoral authority figures and their influence had large impact on the actions of the followers. Studies that look at the power of authority, such as the Milgram study. has shown that this power is able to override an individual’s own preferences on how to act (Cialdini, 2009). The morality of the people who assisted in these events, i.e. the Nazi Soldiers, have been debated. Did the individuals participate because they are bad people or was it due to the immorality of the leader? In simulated situations, moral individuals were found to have heightened amount of neural activity in area of the brain responsible for feelings of self, personal salience, and high-level consciousness (Immordino-Yang, 2011). The effect of self-awareness of an individual in making a choice under the influence of an immoral authority figure has not be specifically looked at. The study is created in order determine if self-awareness is able to override the power of the immoral authority. The participants will be asked to cheat on a packet containing trivia questions. will be less likely to use the answer key to cheat on a trivia packet. Analysis of data will help decipher if individuals who are sitting in front of a mirror (self-aware) will be less likely to cheat than individuals who are not sitting in front of a mirror (not self-aware).

Keywords: self-awareness, obedience, morality, cheating, education