Soul Sessions by CreativeMind

Why Humans Follow Authority Figures

June 12, 2023 Debra Berndt Maldonado and Robert Maldonado PhD Life Coach Training and Personal Transformation Experts Season 7 Episode 165
Why Humans Follow Authority Figures
Soul Sessions by CreativeMind
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Soul Sessions by CreativeMind
Why Humans Follow Authority Figures
Jun 12, 2023 Season 7 Episode 165
Debra Berndt Maldonado and Robert Maldonado PhD Life Coach Training and Personal Transformation Experts

Building upon our series on the great minds of psychology, we introduce interesting social psychology experiments, including the work of Bandura, Festinger, Tajfel, Weiner and Milgram. Join us for an insightful discussion on how our behavior is influenced by role models, authority figures and group dynamics. We explore:

  • Social Learning and how role models shape behavior using the “Bobo doll”
  • Cognitive Dissonance - how we get uncomfortable when performing tasks that are not in alignment with our values
  • Social Identity Theory - the us v. them mentality and judgments we make on the “out” group
  • Attribution Theory - where we see the locus of control, either internal or external
  • Following authority, Milgram’s Shock Experiment and how ordinary people can do harm to others if authority directs them to do so

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Social Psychology Resources:
Milgram Experiment:
Cognitive Dissonance:
Bandura Social Learning Theory:


Interested in Jungian Life Coach Training? Download your free program brochure:

Stay Connected with Debra and Dr. Rob:
Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | Facebook | |

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Building upon our series on the great minds of psychology, we introduce interesting social psychology experiments, including the work of Bandura, Festinger, Tajfel, Weiner and Milgram. Join us for an insightful discussion on how our behavior is influenced by role models, authority figures and group dynamics. We explore:

  • Social Learning and how role models shape behavior using the “Bobo doll”
  • Cognitive Dissonance - how we get uncomfortable when performing tasks that are not in alignment with our values
  • Social Identity Theory - the us v. them mentality and judgments we make on the “out” group
  • Attribution Theory - where we see the locus of control, either internal or external
  • Following authority, Milgram’s Shock Experiment and how ordinary people can do harm to others if authority directs them to do so

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

Social Psychology Resources:
Milgram Experiment:
Cognitive Dissonance:
Bandura Social Learning Theory:


Interested in Jungian Life Coach Training? Download your free program brochure:

Stay Connected with Debra and Dr. Rob:
Instagram | LinkedIn | YouTube | Facebook | |

Why Humans Follow Authority Figures Transcript

INTRO  00:00

Welcome to Soul Sessions with CreativeMind with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado of CreativeMind. Join us each week for inspiring conversation about personal development based on Jungian philosophy, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience. Spend each week with us to explore deep topics in a practical way. Let's begin. 

Debra Maldonado  00:28 

Hello, welcome to another episode of Soul Sessions with CreativeMind. I'm Debra Berndt Maldonado, here with Dr. Rob Maldonado. We're here continuing our series on the great minds of psychology. This series has been so popular that actually our downloads have doubled since we entered this concept, this topic. So keep listening, we have much more to go. But before we begin today on our topic of social psychology, we’re going to request that you please subscribe to our channel if you are listening to us on a podcast service, iTunes, Spotify, and other wonderful podcast services. Please be sure to subscribe because this series is juicy. Social psychology, what does it mean? Why don we need to understand it?

Robert Maldonado  01:21

Let's put it in context. We started out talking about some of the psychodynamic models and people that were important in that school: Anna Freud, Marie von Franz. We went into Maslow and Carl Rogers, the humanist, Erik Erikson, the developmentalist, who was also part of the psychodynamic school that came out of Freud and Jung, as well as Skinner, the behaviorist, very different ways of seeing the mind.

Debra Maldonado  01:59

We also talked about how psychology started in Europe, then America, or the West, the United States, the Americans wanted to put their own spin on it and make it more scientific. Skinner arrived at those experiments, and how that's always been a hidden battle of between what is the best psychology. Truly, psychology is a science. We're not trying to say one is better than the other. But we build upon it. As we keep learning and growing, with different perspectives, we start to see a holistic view of humankind and our human mind versus just a fixed view “This is the way it is, we can never change”, really a true science, not “This is fixed.” This is the way, it's more like “What about this theory? What about that theory?” They build upon each other. Even now, as coaching becomes more popular, it's borrowing a lot of what we learned in psychology, but how do we use this in a coaching model? It's evolving the human development into a new era, in our future.

Robert Maldonado  03:08

I think of it as a library. These people are contributing their thoughts, ideas, books to the library. The richer it becomes through adding of different models, different ways of seeing the mind and human behavior, it's a continuing process. We want to contribute by applying what we learn from these great minds in a coaching model. Instead of waiting for people to have midlife crises or fall into depression or anxiety, why don't we give this incredible knowledge to people that are ready to transform their lives, to solve human problems, to go to optimal functioning in an empowering and an empowered way. Let's start into social psychology. On the heels of Skinner, you saw the humanists react to Skinner and say “Let's take a more humanistic approach. Out of that response to Skinner and even the humanist and even Freudian psychoanalysis, social psychologists were more interested in looking at the mind and human behavior in a social context.

Debra Maldonado  04:45

We’re not islands, no man’s an island, we live in a family system, we live in a school system, public system, friendships, cultural system, we can't ignore all that.

Robert Maldonado  04:59

From Darwin we see that we evolved as small groups, small tribes, communal living. Everything you see: language, human culture, human cities, villages — everything that humans express is done in the context of society, of social groups.

Debra Maldonado  05:30

They find ancient cities that had a structure. We went to Pompeii on our honeymoon, they had the baker, they had the rich families in the mansions, they had slaves, a very evolved culture, living in this place. We think that's just the modern life but we've had it for centuries, we've been living this way in millions of years, obviously.

Robert Maldonado  06:03

Our perspective is that we want to look at these findings from social psychology in the context of now. Now, we are in a very different point in history, we're developing artificial intelligence, the planet is in urgent need of our attention. We have very different human problems that impact everyone.

Debra Maldonado  06:32

If we think about AI and its impact on human growth, you say climate change, but also a lot of political upsets all over the world, not just in the US, there's a lot of conflict happening politically, feeding people. There's so many human problems, we can't solve them. We have to look at society and how it moves, it doesn't move in a single person, it can impact the society, but the society has to go along with that to create change.

Robert Maldonado  07:11

Social psychologists are important in this regard because they precisely focused on these questions. How does the individual influence the group? How does the group influence individual? Facing human problems, we have to understand a little bit more of what happens. When we developed social media, it amplified our social needs in both positive and negative ways. It allows us to create community, we communicate with people from all around the world, have these conversations on a daily basis.

Debra Maldonado  08:04

Even these podcasts, they have access to teachings from thousands and millions of people, millions of podcasts, have information at your fingertips.

Robert Maldonado  08:14

At the same time, we know they're causing a lot of pain and suffering for young people with eating disorders because they're looking at images of models that are unrealistic.

Debra Maldonado  08:30

Even the influencers, they rent out a mansion and make it seem like that's their lifestyle, they don’t work, they have this persona. Then people are like “I want to be like that person.” It’s not a real experience that they're having. But also teenagers wanting likes. I can't imagine being in school right now, in high school or junior high, having Facebook. We didn't have that effect then, to have to uphold this persona, how many followers you have. When we were growing up, it was about how many friends you have, who you're friends with, how people like you. It's such a small thing compared to what's out there now, which is like the world is judging you.

Robert Maldonado  09:18

We're in a time period of disruption, where technology moves so fast, new things come along so fast that people don't have time to adapt, it just disrupts a lot of the social structure that's been built and that people used to depend on. Let's look at some of these social theories and think how we can apply them in coaching and how they can serve us to help solve some of these human problems. One of the most influential socials psychologists was Albert Bandura. In 1963, he came up with the social learning theory. Social learning theory critiqued some of Skinner's work. Skinner postulated that through our own behavior, operant conditioning is molding our behavior in a very clear and precise way. There is some evidence that that's true, but Bandura set up experiments where children were simply observing adults act in a certain way.

Debra Maldonado  10:46

Skinner's idea was that the action has a reaction and that conditions you. You're the one taking the action. Where Bandura took it to if you witness an action, you can be conditioned by others, authority figures and role models.

Robert Maldonado  11:09

He didn’t call it conditioning, he called it learning. You learn by observation of others. If you see somebody touch a hot stove, you do not yourself have to go and touch the hot stove to learn that it's hot and you shouldn't touch it. A child or anyone can learn simply by observing someone else get hurt by touching the hot stove.

Debra Maldonado  11:38

Would that be similar to the hundred monkey syndrome where they taught one monkey how to wash the fruit. Then he taught another monkey, and then all of a sudden all the monkeys started washing their fruit. Would that be something similar? You're watching a behavior and adopt it?

Robert Maldonado  11:55

I think in those observations, they observed that monkeys weren't necessarily observing. They were doing it. If one troop of monkeys started doing that, then other troops of monkeys in another location started to do it.

Debra Maldonado  12:14

It's different but it's still based a little bit on this. You follow the group, then there's a massive shift in consciousness.


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Debra Maldonado  13:18

Let's talk about his group because I think this doll experiment is really interesting.

Robert Maldonado  13:23

Bandura introduced the notion that behavior in the social world could be modeled. Modeling is still used in education a lot today. Three groups of children watched the video where an adult was aggressive towards a Bobo doll. They used to have these toy clowns that were heavy, it had sand on the bottom, so it stood up when you inflate it. But if you hit it, if you pushed it over, it would just bounce back. The kids were watching videos of some adults interacting with this Bobo doll. Some of them were punching it, others were just playing around. The adult who was doing this was rewarded by another adult for the behavior or was punished for it. Children who had seen the adult rewarded were found to be more likely to copy such behavior. Here was evidence, and of course, he did different experiments, not just this, that supported the idea that we as human beings learn from watching other human beings and the reward or the punishment that the other human being gets.

Debra Maldonado  14:59

If someone was rude and angry all the time, like a boss, you go into a corporation and your boss is yelling at people and being aggressive. And he kept getting promoted. Then people watching that go “Being tough and aggressive equals promotion.” Then he starts being tough and aggressive to his or her subordinates to get the promotion. Would that be something like that? You're thinking that's the way to behave. Believe me, I've been in those situations. You have to be tough, you got to be harsh, hard on people to get results. That was an old school way, then pass it on. Even teachers, in Catholic school, the nuns would hit the kids if they got the lessons wrong, the poor corporal punishment. Kids learned maybe being aggressive. It was filtered throughout the whole school system.

Robert Maldonado  16:09

If you think about our social context, everything happens in society, in groups. We go to school with our peers, we hang out in groups, we're always observing, if another kids acts a certain way, what happens to them? Does the teacher praise them or does the teacher humiliate them or send them to the office? We learn from that observation, we don't have to experience it ourselves.

Debra Maldonado  16:38

Let me put it a positive way. Let's say you have a mother that is selfless. She was always rewarded because everyone loved her because she was so selfless. You’d adopt that. There's also the genetic components, but you adopt that because you think “When I'm pleasing people, there's no conflict, people are nice, they like me.” You’d take that. Not just being angry, but being the opposite, you're rewarded for being kind, then you aren't able to be hard or keep boundaries because you're rewarded for being kind.

Robert Maldonado  17:16

Notice that it's not contradicting psychoanalytic theory, which says the impulse is coming from you individually, then you manage it and either suppress it or express it. It's that the social context of what you’ve learned and experienced through observation is much more influential from this perspective. In this model, social learning theory says you can account for human behavior more by understanding the social circumstances an individual grew up in to account for their behavior.

Debra Maldonado  18:02

Would it be for people that get into gangs, the leader or the gang praises them for doing something terrible, then they all think that's the way they get rewarded, they're not thinking for themselves.

Robert Maldonado  18:19

That's part of the implications. It has all kinds of implications for human behavior. Criminals that end up in jail, we can say from this learning model that any one of us under those circumstances and observing what they observed would act the same way. It gets to the question of responsibility. Is the individual really responsible for their actions or are they a byproduct of their social conditioning, social learning?

Debra Maldonado  18:59

If they're taught to be racist, or talk bad about certain people, they get praised for it because maybe everyone in the culture is like that, then you end up repeating that pattern because you see that there's a benefit to doing so.

Robert Maldonado  19:15

Now, if we're coaching, on the creative end, we know mentoring is very powerful. Why do some people succeed? They have great mentors, they're observing. The mentor is modeling successful behavior. The mentee is taking notes and saying “I want to do that. I want to be like that.”

Debra Maldonado  19:42

Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill interviewed all these wealthy people, what I don't like about it is that it’s all men. There wasn't a woman interviewed in there. But it was all about how they think, understanding how to model what they do and how they think. Or is social learning more about just watching the behavior versus watching the thinking?

Robert Maldonado  20:07

No, it's just a social context. We're picking up stuff continuously, we're observing, we're trying and mimicking. That's a way of learning, he's saying that we learn our behavior in a social context.

Debra Maldonado  20:27

This reminds me of that movie, Catch Me If You Can, a true story about the guy Leonardo DiCaprio played, I forgot the guy's name. He was a check con, wrote checks and flew in the plane, a fraudulent guy. His father was a con. The con father was training him, he was watching, he was modeled after his father. He learned by witnessing his father's behavior, getting the sexy woman, getting all these benefits from being that way, he took it on himself. There's also the genetic component, we don't want to ignore that there. If it's a modeling from someone in your family, you're more likely to exhibit some of those personality traits.

Robert Maldonado  21:21

These are different models. A model takes a certain worldview, a certain perspective on behavior. The question for models is can we predict, account for what the observation of the behavior is through that model? Can we account for good and bad behavior, success and failure through social learning theory? We can, it has strong evidence. Of course, it has its weak point, it has some exceptions.

Debra Maldonado  21:58

Human beings are all unique, but in general, we are wired pretty much the same way.

Robert Maldonado  22:04

Institution of teaching based on social learning theory. You get a group of children, put them all together and teach them. How do you teach them? By modeling. You show them how to solve a math problem. Then they mimic it.

Debra Maldonado  22:21

Isn't it religion too? The priest or the guru models the perfect way to be, to go to heaven or reach enlightenment.

Robert Maldonado  22:32

Teaching, training, coaching, mentoring, all those are under the umbrella of social learning theory. Very powerful. Most of you have heard of cognitive dissonance, it’s a fancy term, but what is it? How can we explain it in a simple way? I have a personal story. I knew this friend of mine, he became a yogi, I actually met him in a yoga class. He was a yogi and became a strict vegetarian. I don't think he was a vegan, he was a vegetarian. His family had run a family business. During my association with him, his father passed on, he inherited a butcher shop. Here we have a strict vegetarian, devoted to his lifestyle of yoga and vegetarianism, inherit a butcher shop, which is the slaughtering of animals, something contrary to his beliefs, lifestyle, values, that causes a mismatch of having to deal with this phenomenon, this experience that causes cognitive dissonance. It's an uncomfortableness and unease with complying with what the situation calls for. He couldn't very well throw away the family business. It is a type of inner conflict, a mismatch between the individual’s values and the thing he has to comply with.

Debra Maldonado  24:47

I see this a lot with people that are coaches or healers. They're out there trying to make a living but they have a spiritual idea that money is bad. There's a cognitive dissonance to ask and raise your rates. Can I only help rich people? I want to help everyone. They end up having this conflict with what they believe is to be a good person and to be a business person and actually have income, grow your revenue. There’s a cognitive dissonance between spiritual work or helping work and being a business person.

Robert Maldonado  25:28

The founder of Whole Foods, I heard him speak once. He was saying that business has such a bad rep, a bad name in today's society. People think of business, and they think that's a bad person.

Debra Maldonado  25:44

They are business oriented, they're out to cheat the world, get the profits and hurt everyone else.

Robert Maldonado  25:51

That often causes this cognitive dissonance, where people that are helpers want to help, but because they have to structure a business or orient themselves in a business way, it causes cognitive dissonance for them.

Debra Maldonado  26:10

They end up doing everything for free, never able to leave their day job because they're not thinking like a business person, how to create profit, look at the expenses, see what you need to charge so you can be successful.

Robert Maldonado  26:24

This idea was developed by [NAME] in 1950. Another social psychologist, Tajfel, came up with social identity theory. It's really simple, but very powerful. We see it impact a lot of society. The idea is very simple. If you organize people in groups and give them a certain identity, say, over here the people whose favorite color’s blue, over here those whose favorite color is green. Now you have two distinct groups. What will happen is that the people in the blue group will start to feel differently about the people in the green group.

Debra Maldonado  27:24

They’ll feel more affinity with their group, even if they disagree with some things, they’ll feel what's aligned with them.

Robert Maldonado  27:31

They'll start to favor the people in their in-group, it’s called the in-group. They'll start to disfavor the people in the out-group.

Debra Maldonado  27:41

This is why a lot of world wars start, religious wars, the “us versus them” identity groups. I also see this in politics. Who you vote for, what way you vote, what party you're in. The family groups, you're in this part of the family, you're this way, then there's the other family, the in-laws.

Robert Maldonado  28:08

I remember when we were teenagers, the Friday night football games. Some of our friends would say “Let's get together and go fight the town that we’re playing.” They were just against them. They didn't know who they were. They were just the out-group, so they’re became the enemy.

Debra Maldonado  28:35

Gangs are based on that too. I grew up in New Jersey, so it was “Are you a Jets fan or a Giants fan, a Yankee fan or a Mets fan?” We live in the same area, but you're very divided due to your loyalty to your team. I think politics has turned into that where everyone's on their team. It's hard for people to talk because you're so aligned with your group. You don't get to hear what the other person says or have compassion for what the other people think. It's this division of us versus them.

Robert Maldonado  29:05

Us versus them, that's a good way to put it, and it's totally arbitrary. But it becomes so important to people that they only identify with members of their in-group and demonize members of the out-group.

Debra Maldonado  29:23

Putting them down, not just demonizing, but also minimizing the other group, dehumanizing. That’s what happened in the Holocaust.

Robert Maldonado  29:39

Not only the Holocaust. In all wars, the soldiers are conditioned to dehumanize the enemy, because it makes it easier for them to follow orders and commands.

Debra Maldonado  29:52

Look what's happening in Ukraine with all the blowing up a children's hospital and pregnant people. It doesn't make sense but then they're not real people because they're on the other side, they're conditioned to see us versus them, they're bad. It's impacted by a lot of propaganda that feeds those group identities.

Robert Maldonado  30:23

Another one is attribution theory, this guy named Wiener in 1986. Attribution theory is powerful, it’s still used, very useful to us in coaching. It says that the individual either has an internal locus of control or an external locus of control. Locus means the position, where the control is, externally or internally. In either success or failure, the person that has an external locus of control will say “I failed or succeeded because of external circumstances, the circumstances, the opportunities, the lack of opportunities, whatever it was, was external.”

Debra Maldonado  31:14

The economy, no one wants my services, no one's buying this product anymore. Or I'm successful because so many people are looking for this thing. It depended on some external need by the public that would drive commerce.

Robert Maldonado  31:31

They attribute their results, success or failure, to external circumstances in the external locus of control. In internal locus of control, individuals say “I'm responsible, if something happens, it's because I had a part in it, or the majority of either guilt or praise belongs to me.”

Debra Maldonado  32:04

If you run a company and have an external locus of control, you’ll think that the reason why things are not working is because of your team, the suppliers, the contractors, the software, whatever is causing the disruption or lack, failure or success. But when you have an internal locus of control, that's the most empowering because as a leader, you have to have it, so that it passes down to each person on the team, they also have an internal locus of control. They start to see that what they do in their mind has power versus what's going on in the environment, what’s going on in the financial situation in the country, if there’s a recession or not. We start to look at what’s happening, and we take responsibility.

Robert Maldonado  33:02

People with the external locus of control, in uncertain times, have a lot more difficulty adapting and being okay because if it's out of their control, it feels really scary. They fall into this idea of learned helplessness.

Debra Maldonado  33:27

If you don't have that internal locus of control, you're waiting for the economy to get better, waiting for something to happen. Even in dating, I was waiting for the right person to show up. That's the external locus of control versus I’m seeing myself in every person, I'm in control of my own destiny and choices, my ability to have a healthy relationship is within me. That's such an empowering place to be. If it's out there, you do feel helpless, you feel like the stars have to align, or you have to be in the right alignment and energy to have the things you want. That's very external. There's energy out there I have to tap into to get that versus I am the energy, I am in control.

Robert Maldonado  34:17

And finally, Stanley Milgram in 1963 came up with a shock experiment. They've even made movies of his work. There's some videos that will try to post links to some of these theories and experiments. But Stanley Milgram, interesting guy, he was at Yale. This is coming after World War II, after people had gone through the terrible situations of World War II.

Debra Maldonado  34:58

It was actually specifically the trial of one of the German generals. He said “Was he a victim of following orders or is he an accomplice? Did he have a conscious choice to make a decision? Did he consciously intend to cause harm?”

Robert Maldonado  35:25

Social psychologists are looking for experimental ways to test these theories. Is an individual like this war criminal to blame? Is he solely to blame or is he not at fault because he's following orders? Milgram set up this experiment where the volunteers would come in, they set up a booth. They could hear the other participant, they’d ask questions of the participant in the booth. When they got the wrong answer, they were instructed to push a button that gave the answerer a shock.

Debra Maldonado  36:27

It started at 100 volts, 250, 400. The truth is, they weren't receiving the shock. But the person who was asking the question saw shock. He’d hear the other person scream, and scream louder the higher the shock came. It gave them the experience they were inflicting harm on the other person that they can't see on the other side of the wall. There in the room was also a guy in a lab coat, who is the researcher, he was the authority figure. They’d look at the authority figure and say “He's screaming, I don't want to.” The authority figure would say “Hit him again.” They’d do it because the authority figure said to do it again. He gave them prompts and kept saying to do it. It was an amazing level, like 80% of the people gave at least the first shock. They were willing because they were following orders. One of the things about the experiment that I find curious — they won't do it again because they thought it causes psychological damage on the people that actually experienced it, even though he said he talked to them. At first they were stressed out about it, but they were able to recover pretty quickly. There was no lasting damage. But there were all men that were tested. There's no idea of whether a woman would act differently. I’d find that curious, I believe women would be a lower because of their empathy, maybe I'm putting men in a bucket. But it would be interesting if women and men would respond the same way because men go to war, women want peace.

Robert Maldonado  38:15

You might be subject to the social identity that your in-group is better for your out-group.

Debra Maldonado  38:25

I could be looking at it that way. But I’d find it curious if women and men would react the same way. They ended up stopping the experiment because people were starting to get anxious, panicked, having panic attacks over it. But what do you think is the takeaway from this?

Robert Maldonado  38:57

The disturbing result is that people are willing to go against their own better judgment, their conscious, because an authority figure is telling them to do so. This gets to the idea that if we say “I was simply following orders”, we feel it wasn’t my responsibility, I was following someone else's orders. But what does that mean? You're giving away your will to somebody else, they’re responsible for what you do.

Debra Maldonado  39:35

Wouldn't that be similar to Jonestown? They were handing the Kool Aid out in the family, the parents were handing it to their kids, they were just following orders, being swept up in “It’s what I need to do.”

Robert Maldonado  39:53

It's a very powerful need for us to fit in and to follow the leader. If we're not aware of these tendencies, we fall into the circumstances where we end up doing things against our will and better judgment.

Debra Maldonado  40:11

One of the things they saw in the difference is that when the authority figure left the room, they were less likely to give the shock. But when the authority figure came back in the room, they were like “I better comply.” Another interesting part of this experiment is that when you're put in an unfamiliar environment, if you're taken out of your environment and moved into a new, unfamiliar environment, you're more likely to follow it orders. The cults that happen, you're taken away from your family, your friends, your whole conditioning, and moved into a new environment. It's like a bubble, you're more likely to comply than not. I find those things interesting. I’d also be interested to see how women would be, because of my own social identity theory. It's interesting how we act against our own moral because of the pressure. It's like peer pressure in a way, that's where it comes from. “If your friends are jumping off the bridge, are you gonna jump off the bridge?” My mother used to say that a lot when we were kids.

Robert Maldonado  41:21

I think it is a little bit different than peer pressure because peer means someone who's at your level. This is an authority figure, meaning someone you perceive as above.

Debra Maldonado  41:34

For Milgram, but when you think about social identity, it’s peers.

Robert Maldonado  41:39

Conformity as well. There's studies on conformity where people would actually respond in the wrong way just to go along with a group, with a group consensus.

Debra Maldonado  41:54

This is why individuation is so important, Jung's theory of individuation, because what it's really doing is helping us get out of that conditioning, which is conditioning not only from our personal experience, but cultural conditioning. Even this idea of following the crowd, he called it the herd mentality, then thinking for ourselves and having more critical thinking in our decisions and being. That's something we have to cultivate, it's something that doesn't happen on its own, we have to cultivate that breaking away of family pressure, cultural pressure and really start to be our own person. It’d be interesting to see these experiments, maybe not the Milgram, but some of other experiments. If someone who was individuated and someone who hasn't been, someone who's done their shadow work and has a stronger sense of their true self versus someone who's acting out of their own conditioning. What do you think? Maybe we should, maybe not so harsh, but seeing who complies and how that works. If we think about the world, if we want to make a shift in humanity, that's why the social psychology is so important, because we can't just make it on our own. One person can’t change humanity, we have to inspire. The positive part of this is maybe the authority figure inflicted harm, but what if the authority figure is fostering compassion, fostering love? Think about Gandhi and what he did in India, non-violent disobedience. Instead of obedience, we have non-violent disobedience, which means he didn't go along with the crowd. He didn't go along with the English taking over his country, had to face that and basically inspire everyone in his country to take that step and break away because otherwise we just comply and say “This is how it is, we’re all English now, we're all have to dress like Westerners, we have to change our religion, change all these things about our culture.” He said “Let's embrace who we are and stand for that”, which is powerful. It's going against the tide, that's why it's very well needed. It's so easy to just go with the group. There's no conflict with going with the flow. It takes courage, discipline, knowing who you are, being self-critical, looking at things on both sides, making a free decision that's going to change humanity. We have a great quote by Margaret Mead to talk about that.

Robert Maldonado  44:55

On the positive side, we couldn’t go to the moon on our own, it's a group effort. We couldn’t build these incredible cities we live in on our own, it’s a group effort, a community effort. We couldn’t do scientific research and solve and find cures and vaccines for some of the medical problems we have on our own. It's the collective pulling the energy and the ideas together that were able to solve bigger problems.

Debra Maldonado  45:38

Having mentors in the world, those of you who are inspired to change the world, step into mentorships, to step into coaching, to step into leadership and be that model, be the change. As Gandhi said, you have to be the change and dedicate yourself individually to be a force of change, then people will follow you, people will be led by the light versus the old patterns of our worse tendencies as human beings. What about our best tendencies, our potential as human beings? The best thing you can do for the world is make the most of yourself, by doing that you become a model for others. Then creating communities, people who are having these conversations or waking up from social conformity and moving into a state of individual empowerment. Together we can create and shape the world with our locus of control inside versus the world is creating the situation, the circumstances. We as a group, as human beings can shape the world.

Robert Maldonado  46:47

The quote is by Margaret Mead, who was a cultural anthropologist. She says “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” That's very powerful, it gets at the idea that a small group of people with a powerful idea and a powerful vision, if organized, if all pulling in one direction, one-pointed mind, they can make important changes in the world. We don’t need to despair, all the problems we're facing in the world can be solved, because both of them, we created them ourselves.

Debra Maldonado  47:41

A lot of it is because we just let things happen versus go against the grain and say “There's a better way”, be willing to stand in that adversity. It does take courage. It's easy to sit back, judge, and say “The world is terrible. That's terrible. Those people are the ones doing it.” But you have to be an active participant in the world and active participant in change. That's really where you feel fulfilled. It's not fighting the world, it's understanding and seeing the world as a reflection of your own mind, having that inner locus of control versus the “us versus them” mentality. That's really important too because a lot of activists start to go against the other, the enemy. What you're really doing is creating more division. How can we create change with love, compassion, not be doormats, but bring a more powerful way to shift the world with new ideas, new innovations, imagination, inspiration?

Robert Maldonado  48:49

There's still a few models and schools and important contributions to be talked about, so stay tuned. We haven't talked about neuroscience yet. We haven't talked about developmental psychology yet. But these are important ideas that can help us all deal with the complexity of life today, help us solve these human problems.

Debra Maldonado  49:20

We hope you're having a great summer, we will see you next week. 

OUTRO  49:26 

Thank you for joining us. Don't forget to subscribe to CreativeMind Soul Sessions. Join us next week as we explore another deep topic where you can consciously create your life with CreativeMind Soul Sessions. See you next time.

What is Social Psychology?
Social Learning Theory
Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Social Identity Theory
Attribution Theory
Milgram’s Shock Experiment