This post has been significantly update – see here:

I posted this a while back, but here’s an updated version. I’ve revised this a bit to take into account some new information that surprised me.

According to your Conform-o-meter, to boost your Obedience rating you need to have public buildings to keep your people docile!

Keeping the Obedience rating high helps move your Conformity Bonus to its 5% maximum, giving you extra cash and XP every time you tap. Now, it can be quite challenging to improve at lower levels, as most of the public buildings you need to unlock to boost this rating arrive at later stages of the game.

So, what are the public buildings? Well, they’re the buildings that have piles of cash above them and include:
– the Library
– the First Church of Springfield (and its Heck House variant)
– the Police Station
– the Post Office
– Springfield Penitentiary
– Springfield General Hospital
– the Hibbert Family Practice
– Springfield Observatory (a premium building)
– the Springfield Subatomic Collider (a limited-time item available at Halloween)
– Springfield Cemetery (a limited-time item available at Halloween)
– Springfield Pet Cemetary (a limited-time item available at Halloween)
– the Mausoleum (a limited-time item available at Halloween)

Those are all obvious enough. But here’s the surprise – they also include O’Flanagan’s Pub, Barney’s Bowl-a-rama, the Volcano Lair, the Android’s Dungeon, the Bad Dream House from Halloween, Burns Manor and the Wiggum House. And so are the Christmas Tree and Santa’s Village from the Christmas update! And they don’t include the Springfield Elementary School or the Town Hall – these buildings have an impact on your Righteousness rating, as does Moe’s Tavern.

That’s not the full story, though. Like all the other elements of your Conformity Bonus, the Obedience rating seems to drop when there’s a new level or when you expand your land area. Fortunately, you can also improve it by putting up signs – and planting lots of the Stop Signs ($385 and unlocking at level 22) and the Hail Ants Sign ($450 and unlocking at level 23) can give it a significant boost. Exactly how many you need, however, will depend very much on the size of your town. And, if you’re a donut-user, police-cars help, too, although they’ll set you back 40 donuts each.