The rule of 'Authority' states that people are put under ''//strong pressure for compliance when requested by an authority figure//''. !The key to using the principle of Authority Deference to authorities can occur in a mindless fashion as a kind of decision-making shortcut. When reacting to authority in an automatic fashion there is a tendency to often do so in response to the mere symbols of authority rather than to its substance. Three types of symbols have been demonstrated through research as effective in this regard: # ''Titles'' # ''Clothing'' # ''Automobiles'' In separate studies investigating the influence of these symbols individuals that possessed one or another of these symbols, even without other legitimizing credentials, were accorded more deference or obedience by those they encountered. Moreover, in each instance, those individuals who deferred and/or obeyed these individuals underestimated the effect of authority pressures upon their behavior. !Resisting the rule of Authority Asking two questions can attain a meaningful defense against the detrimental effects of undue influence gained through authority. # Is this authority truly an expert? ## The first question directs our attention away from symbols and toward actual evidence for authority status. # How truthful can we expect this expert to be? ## The second advises us to consider not just the expert's knowledge in the situation, but also his or her //trustworthiness//. ### With regard to this second consideration, we should be alert to the trust-enhancing tactic in which a communicator may first provide some mildly negative information about himself or herself. This can be seen as a strategy to create the perception of honesty making subsequent information seem more credible to those listening. !Examples Once someone has accepted you as an authority, they will follow your instructions even against their own judgment, ethics, and feelings (Milgram, 1974). * Example: Milgram’s (1974) obedience study where persons where proving electrical shocks up to dangerous levels. * Example: Sanka made a commercial for decaffeinated coffee that was so successful that it ran for years, which featured an actor who had played a doctor on a medical show extolling the health benefits of decaf (p. 183) * Example: Nearly all pedestrians complied when an experimenter in a guard costume instructed them to pay someone else’s parking meter, even if the guard was no longer present (Bickman, 1974) * Example: 3½ times as many people will sweep out into traffic following a jaywalker dressed in a well-tailored business suit (Lefkowitz, Blake, & Mouton, 1955). !Practical tips * To appear as an expert you need to have ''credentials'' and to appear as ''credible''