What is agency theory?

1 Answer
Jan 26, 2017

Agency theory (Milgram) states that a person can either be in an autonomous state or agentic state if they are faced with a situation which consists of destructive obedience.


Agentic state is where people do not take responsibility for their actions. Instead, they place the responsibility on the authority figure. For eg. "I shocked Mr. X because the experimenter asked me to do so..". Here, they carry out a demand from an authority figure, or someone they perceive to have authority, but do not take responsibility for the consequences.

However, the autonomous state is when a person does take responsibility for their actions. This is the opposite of the agentic state.

A good article to refer to is: caggie-harvey.over-blog.com/article-agency-theory-as-an-explanation-of-human-obedience-77020856.html