Your Comfy Compliance

The Psychology of Blind Obedience

In this episode, Michael discusses how we are all complacent because it makes us comfortable. Drawing from the Milgram Experiment, a study of blind obedience and authority conducted in the early 1960's, Michael proves that we are all susceptible to blind obedience.

We all like to think of ourselves as “independent” and “free thinking”…

And yet, this episode of Unpopular Culture is packed with examples of how humans so easily fall in-line behind what they perceive as an authority figure. In this episode, Michael outlines a popular psychological experiment called the Milgram Experiment, conducted by Stanley Milgram in the 1960’s to study how and when people are more likely to follow orders. The implications have ehoed for years, as Milgram got an alarming amount of people to shock another person to death. All it took to get people to electrocute someone to death was a man in a white lab coat telling them to.

In this episode, Michael applies the Milgram theory to several modern examples. In the most alarming example, a teenage girl is strip searched in a McDonald’s back office by her manager because a voice on the phone called into the store impersonating a police officer and told her to.


In this UPC episode and through the Milgram Experiment, we DO learn that people are LESS likely to obey orders over the phone than if the demander were in person…. However, in this case of Louise Ogborn, so many people are involved and following someone else’s orders, that the punishments are in fact, brutally enforced. Warning: This is not for the faint of heart. Actual video and audio is included, as well as the news story surrounding the incident. In the shownotes below this blog, you can watch the full video. This is a very clear example of how blindly obedient people can be, and what not to do when someone calls your workplace and tells you to take your clothes off because they said so.


1. The Milgram Experiment 2007, Saul McLeod

Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, conducted an experiment focusing on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience.

2. Prank caller leads Coon Rapids Burger King employees to smash their windows. April 9, 2016, Star Tribune

3. McDonalds Strip Search and full PRIMETIME story


— Michael Drane, MA, LAC