Cognitive structuring and obedience toward authority

Tomasz Grzyb*, Dariusz Doliński, Jakub Trojanowski, Yoram Bar-Tal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


For decades the classic Milgram studies have inspired psychologists to seek individual differences that impact the level of obedience to authority. In this article the authors propose a procedure in which obedience is examined in virtual reality, and they posit the hypothesis that an interaction of several factors determines obedience. The first is the match (or lack thereof) of the participant's and the learner's sex; the second is need for cognitive closure. Analysis of the result for the dichotomic variable (total obedience vs absence of total obedience) as well as the intervallic variable (level of obedience: from total absence to absolute) demonstrated that high level of need for closure influences obedience only in conditions where the participant and the learner are of the same sex. In addition, this effect was stronger for males than for females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2018


FundersFunder number
Polish National Centre for Science
Narodowe Centrum NaukiDEC-2012/07/B/HS6/02580


    • Cognitive structuring
    • Need for cognitive closure
    • Obedience toward authority
    • Virtual reality


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