How would you operationalize Authority?

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Offline Immeg

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How would you operationalize Authority?
« on: 11/10/2015 12:29:56 »
I have a psychology assignment on Authority and I need to design an experiment. Not sure how I could measure someone's Authority. Any assistance would be of great help. Thanks

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Offline Colin2B

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Re: How would you operationalize Authority?
« Reply #1 on: 12/10/2015 15:31:06 »
.... Not sure how I could measure someone's Authority. Any assistance would be of great help. Thanks
I would start with a definition of authority, then think of all the examples I can of people or office that fit that definition. If you then rank the examples you could begin to figure out what attributes contribute to that ranking and hence how you could measure them. Then you could work out a scoring system.
Good luck
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Offline alancalverd

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Re: How would you operationalize Authority?
« Reply #2 on: 12/10/2015 16:09:37 »
Quote
"Command authority" is the authority leaders have over soldiers by virtue of rank or assignment
which, though easy to assess, I suspect isn't really what you mean. However we do use the term as a variable attribute when assessing civilians for roles of leadership or responsibility.  You could usefully talk to personnel officers in large companies, examiners for mariners or aviators (especially traffic controllers in those media) or police instructors.   
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Offline evan_au

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Re: How would you operationalize Authority?
« Reply #3 on: 12/10/2015 21:24:03 »
If you need to do an experiment, you could google previous work in Psychology on the subject of Authority (referring to a few relevant papers in your report shows that you did some homework).

Then extend their work into a new area (perhaps one relevant to you, or in your locality).

A quick search turned up a questionnaire on Parental Authority - but there are many kinds of authority.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15327752jpa5701_13

I was recently talking to a psychology student who was able to engage many people to take part in his thesis study by connecting with them on social media, and pointing them to his questionnaire on-line. Tools like Survey Monkey are free, and will collect the results for you.

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Offline Immeg

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Re: How would you operationalize Authority?
« Reply #4 on: 13/10/2015 12:15:05 »
Thanks guys! :) The help was much appreciated.

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Offline Colin2B

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Re: How would you operationalize Authority?
« Reply #5 on: 13/10/2015 15:23:46 »
Thanks guys! :) The help was much appreciated.
Let us know how it turns out. Sounds interesting.
and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
the feebleminded have inherited the earth.

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Offline alancalverd

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Re: How would you operationalize Authority?
« Reply #6 on: 13/10/2015 18:05:25 »
PS I had an embarrassing time with a navigator who has exceptional command authority. Flying in cloud, he authoritatively gave our position as west of the destination airfield, so I carefully turned east.....and it was only after heading away from dry land for a couple of miles that I realised that he was wrong and the compass, radar and Air Traffic Control were right. 

This has had serious consequences in a number of cases, including the KAL 747 crash at Stansted where the first officer did not question the captain's authority, and possibly in the Staines Trident crash where the FO was outranked by at least two others on the flight deck and was probably unwilling to criticise the captain in the presence of an even more senior pilot.
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Offline alancalverd

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Re: How would you operationalize Authority?
« Reply #7 on: 18/10/2015 22:46:39 »
And if you haven't come across Milgram yet, it's time to find a better psychology course.
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