Obedience, Conformity, & Compliance

Tomasa Walsh

Metropolis Police and Fire Department


Private conformity - the change of beliefs that occurs when a person privately accepts the position taken by others.

Public conformity - a superficial change in overt behavior without a corresponding change of opinion that is produced by real or imagined group pressure

Obedience - behavior change produced by the commands of authority

Compliance - changes in behavior that are elicited by direct request

Obedience to Authority - From A Stranger - TV Show "What Would You Do"

Guidelines for obedience in the department

OBEDIENCE TO POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS.—It is unlawful and a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable for any person willfully to fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any law enforcement officer, traffic crash investigation officer, traffic infraction enforcement officer, or member of the fire department at the scene of a fire, rescue operation, or other emergency. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, certified emergency medical technicians or paramedics may respond to the scene of emergencies and may provide emergency medical treatment on the scene and provide transport of patients in the performance of their duties for an emergency medical services provider licensed under chapter 401 and in accordance with any local emergency medical response protocols. (The Florida Legislature, 2015)

If you are given an order you need to comply and obey and do it so people are safe and out of harms way

Guidelines for employees that experienced pressure to comply or obey

We did not need Milgram's research to inform us that people have a propensity to obey authority; what it did enlighten us about is the surprising strength of that tendency-that many people are willing to obey destructive orders that conflict with their moral principles and commit acts which they would not carry out on their own initiative. Once people have accepted the right of an authority to direct our actions, Milgram argued, we relinquish responsibility to him or her and allow that person to define for us what is right or wrong. (American Psychological Association, 2015)

With that being said you need to make sure you have a clear mind from anything and make your own choice to obey or comply not let the person that is higher up then you take away your free will to be able to make decisions yourself and not listen to what they are telling you that you must do, it has to be your call for what is right and wrong. If you let someone else make those decisions for you then you don't really know what is right from wrong.

Conformity Experiment


Kassin, S. M., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2014). Social psychology (9th ed., p. 279, 271, 262). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

The Florida Legislature (2015) The 2014 Florida Statutes. Online Sunshine

American Psychological Association (2015) Obeying and Resisting Malevolent Orders. Washington DC




Obedience - Obeying a Man in a Uniform