Bandura & the Bo-Bo Dolls
AIMS: This study is a laboratory experiment investigating the effects of observing aggression and was led by Albert Bandura who was the principal developer of Social Learning Theory.
The aim of Bandura’s study was to demonstrate that if children were passive witnesses to an aggressive display by an adult they would imitate this aggressive behaviour when given the opportunity.
The researchers made the following 5 predictions:
- Children exposed to aggressive models will reproduce aggressive acts resembling those of the models
- Children exposed to non-aggressive models will reproduce less aggressive acts
- The control group, who saw no modelled behaviour, would show more aggression than the group that saw non-aggressive behaviour.
- Children will imitate the behaviour of a same-sex model to a greater degree than a model of the opposite sex
- Boys will be more predisposed than girls towards imitating aggression
PROCEDURE (METHOD): Bandura et al tested 36 boys and 36 girls aged between 37 to 69 months (mean = 52 months) who were enrolled in the Stanford University Nursery School.
The design of the experiment has three major conditions; the control group, the group exposed to the aggressive model, and the group exposed to the passive model.