Bandura - the Bobo doll experiment

Albert Bandura- the Bobo doll
Paul IM
Jennifer Kim
Who is he?
• Born 1925 in Canada
• Self education (seems to be influenced
by his father)
• Graduated Unv of British Columbia
• A professor in psychology at Stanford Unv.
• The originator of social learning theory and the
theory of self-efficacy.
• Major achievement-> social cognitive theory,
therapy personality psychology and behaviorism.
Aim of the Bobo doll experiment
• Bandura wanted to see if children would
imitate aggression modeled by an adult and
he also wanted to know if children were more
likely to imitate same-sex models
• Link to "Effects of violent media on Children”
The children of 72 were split into 3
groups of 24.
• The children of 72 were split into 3
groups of 24.
• Each child was placed in a room
with toys. A minute later, the child
were told to leave the room
immediately as it is the room for
other children, and then the child
were put into the room with an
inflatable Bobo Doll and a mallet.
(Of course there was a adult model
for the first two groups behaving
violently or nonviolently before
they leave the room. )
• Bandura’s group found that the children who had
observed the aggressive models were
significantly more aggressive.
• Boys-> physical violence (104:48.4)
• Girls-> verbal violence (57.7:36.3)
• Boys made comments like ‘Ladies shouldn’t do
• The results also indicated that the boys and girls
who observed the nonaggressive model exhibited
less non-imitative mallet aggression than in the
control group, which had no model.
Aggression is a learnt behavior instead of being innate
Children are more likely to imitate behaviors modeled by the adults with same gender. For
example, many boys commented negatively when a woman adult performed violence on
bobo doll
The form of violence differs depending on the sex; boys, who are closer to physical nature,
are likely to be physically violent but girls tend to be more verbal and social. Girls are less
likely to be physically violent but like boys, are equally prone to verbal aggression.
Children observing an adult model utilizing violence are more likely to believe that this type
of behavior is normal. They may, therefore, be more likely to use this type of action
themselves when confronted by similar situations.
Modeling is the powerful way of learning
Learning can take place in absence of reinforcement. One can learn by via observation and
• Low Ecological Validity
It was carried out in laboratory, which is an artificial
environment so it makes the situation less natural
Children have only briefly encountered with the model
adults so it is rash to decide whether the adults
influenced their behavior.
Is the aggression displayed genuine?
Is aggression displayed a learnt one or due to
• Methodological consideration
The aggression performed by adults is not
standardized. Therefore children exposed to
adults, who performed higher level of
violence, are likely to be more aggressive.
The Bobo doll springs back upright when it is hit
and there is a strong possibility that the
children saw it as a game rather than anything
The result is totally based on observation so
some observers might be biased against some

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