Obeying Orders Makes Us More Willing to Inflict Pain on Others — Study

  • Participants inflict more shocks when obeying orders than when freely deciding.
  • Empathy-related regions are less active when obeying orders compared to acting freely.
  • Coercion reduced neurocognitive processes associated with guilt.
  • Reduced empathy- and guilt-related activations could facilitate harming under orders.

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Ray Williams

Ray Williams

Author/Retired Executive Coach-Helping People Live Better Lives and Serve Others