Respect for Authority and Blind Obedience


People may not see any difference in the definition of “respect” and “obedience,” and they have approximately the same meaning in daily use. Some individuals might state that obedience follows respect, as when a person has good status in society, others tend to admire their actions. However, the difference exists, and it is important for those who work with a group of people to understand how these two definitions affect communicational factors.

Main body

Respect for authority is an idea that professional psychologists deeply analyze, and many theories are based on this definition. Some experts believe that this is a human trait that occurs while communicating (Yang et al. 546). People can express more respect in relation to those who have a higher status as it is always important to maintain the order of social classes. Individuals may also respect others by their work position. For instance, firefighters and doctors significantly influence people’s lives and health. Consequently, their work and contribution to general well-being are respected. However, governments should regulate respect for authorities as extra admiration may lead to social chaos.

Blind obedience is a common definition for those who are doing every task asked by their role model. Obedience is a self-conscious process that can be controlled only by an individual’s emotions. All people can experience blind obedience when they truly admire another person, which is not a negative trait (Gustafsson 4). However, sometimes people may do rash acts, which can cause problems and unpleasant moments. This happens because critical thinking doe does not take part in the decision-making. On the one hand, blind obedience may help people to step out of their comfort zone and change their lives for the better. On the other hand, quick decisions might destroy a reputation or even cause legal issues.

Both definitions look similar to those who are not aware of the main differences. However, when people respect authority, they complete required tasks with effort and always want to show high-quality work. There is no need for the authority to ask to do something like those who admire constantly is ready to complete specific work without any request. However, when people are appreciated by others and are forced to act, blind obedience takes place. It is important to understand this difference to ensure that there is no negative effect on the outcome of the relationship between people and their role models.

There are many factors that might influence people to comply with others, and many of them should be considered by every individual. For example, group size and similarity of interests can be greater influencers in the decision-making process. When there are many people in the group, more different opinions and experiences can be shared. Moreover, age and social class play an important role in human compliance, as minds can change when people grow up. Their financial position can form specific traits that differ in diverse individuals.


To conclude everything that has been stated so far, the first impression of “respect” and “obedience” definitions may be confusing and unclear. However, these terminologies are widely used in many life spheres concerned with those people who can be role models for others. People should understand their personal needs and wants and not make silly actions required or provided by those they admire and appreciate. In some cases, those actions may be beneficial. However, potential problems should always be overviewed.

Works Cited

Gustafsson, Martin. “Blind Obedience”. Acta Philosophica Fennica, vol. 95, 2019, pp. 1-10.

Yang, Jian, et al. “Government’s economic performance fosters trust in government in China: Assessing the moderating effect of respect for authority.” Social Indicators Research, vol. 154, 2021, pp. 545-558.

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DemoEssays. "Respect for Authority and Blind Obedience." November 14, 2022.