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Saul McLeodupdated During the s, Albert Bandura conducted a series of experiments on observational learning, collectively The bobo doll studies as the Bobo doll experiments. Two of the experiments are described below: Aim Bandura conducted a study to investigate if social behaviors i.
Sample Bandura, Ross, and Ross tested 36 boys and 36 girls from the Stanford University Nursery School aged between 3 to 6 years old. The researchers pre-tested the children for how aggressive they were by observing the children in the nursery and judged their aggressive behavior on four 5-point rating scales.
It was then possible to match the children in each group so that they had similar levels of aggression in their everyday behavior. The experiment is, therefore, an example of a matched pairs design. To test the inter-rater reliability of the observers, 51 of the children were rated by two observers independently and their ratings compared.
Method A lab experiment was used, in which the independent variable the type of model was manipulated in three conditions: Aggressive model is shown to 24 children Non-aggressive model is shown to 24 children No model shown control condition - 24 children Stage 1: Modeling In the experimental conditions children were individually shown into a room containing toys and played with some potato prints and pictures in a corner for 10 minutes while either: The adults attacked the Bobo doll in a distinctive manner - they used a hammer in some cases, and in others threw the doll in the air and shouted "Pow, Boom.
The final 24 children 12 boys and 12 girls were used as a control group and not exposed to any model at all. Animation created by Wes Venables Stage 2: Animation created by Wes Venables Stage 3: The non-aggressive toys included a tea set, crayons, three bears and plastic farm animals.
The aggressive toys included a mallet and peg board, dart guns, and a 3 foot Bobo doll. Observations were made at 5-second intervals, therefore, giving response units for each child.
However, the exception to this general pattern was the observation of how often they punched Bobo, and in this case the effects of gender were reversed.
The evidence for girls imitating same-sex models is not strong. There was little difference in the verbal aggression between boys and girls. That is, children learn social behavior such as aggression through the process of observation learning - through watching the behavior of another person.
This study has important implications for the effects of media violence on children. Evaluation There are three main advantages of the experimental method.
Experiments are the only means by which cause and effect can be established. It allows for precise control of variables. Many variables were controlled, such as the gender of the model, the time the children observed the model, the behavior of the model and so on.
Experiments can be replicated. Standardized procedures and instructions were used, allowing for replicability. In fact, the study has been replicated with slight changes, such as using video and similar results were found Bandura, Limitations of the procedure include: Many psychologists are very critical of laboratory studies of imitation - in particular because they tend to have low ecological validity.
The situation involves the child and an adult model, which is a very limited social situation and there is no interaction between the child and the model at any point; certainly the child has no chance to influence the model in any way.
Also, the model and the child are strangers. Cumberbatch found that children who had not played with a Bobo Doll before were five times as likely to imitate the aggressive behavior than those who were familiar with it; he claims that the novelty value of the doll makes it more likely that children will imitate the behavior.
A further criticism of the study is that the demonstrations are measured almost immediately. With such snap shot studies, we cannot discover if such a single exposure can have long-term effects.
It is possible to argue that the experiment was unethical.
For example, there is the problem of whether or not the children suffered any long-term consequences as a result of the study. Although it is unlikely, we can never be certain. So we not only watch what people do, but we watch what happens when they do things.
This is known as vicarious reinforcement. We are more likely to imitate behavior that is rewarded and refrain from behavior that is punished. Bandura used a similar experimental set up to the one outlined above to test vicarious reinforcement.The Bobo Doll Experiment proper began by placing one of the children from the test groups in a room with an adult.
The subject sat in one corner of the room, with a few appealing toys to play with, such as potato prints and sticker activities. For the Bobo Doll Experiment, Bandura selected a number of children from the local Stanford Nursery School, varying in age from 3 to 6 years, with the average age being 4 years and 4 months.
To test the prediction that boys would be more prone to aggression than girls, he picked 36 subjects of each sex. The initial study, along with Bandura’s follow-up research, would later be known as the Bobo doll experiment. The experiment revealed that children imitate the aggressive behavior of adults.
The experiment revealed that children imitate the aggressive behavior of adults. Bobo doll experiment can also be considered as one of the many observational learning examples.
Theory The study conducted by Bandura and his colleagues involved 72 children aged between 3 to 6 . Method Used in the Bobo Doll Experiment The participants for the experiment were 36 boys and 36 girls enrolled at the Stanford University Nursery School.
The children ranged in age between 3 and almost 6 years, and the average participant age was 4 years 4 months.
Bandura's experiment remains one of the most well-known studies in psychology. Today, social psychologists continue to study the impact of observed violence on children's behavior. In the half-century since the Bobo doll experiment, there have been hundreds of studies on how observing violence impacts children's behavior.