The bobo doll studies

It could have widespread implications regarding the effects of the media. If celebrities are seen as role models, this could lead to many dangerous behaviours being imitated, such as extreme diets, drugs, hard-core partying and even violence. Since magazines and television like to report scandalous conduct, this could affect the way youngsters and even adults choose to behave.

The bobo doll studies

As a part of his theory, Bandura conducted an experiment in in order to observe if social behaviors can be acquired through the process of imitation and observation.

The behavior in question was aggression. Bobo doll experiment can also be considered as one of the many observational learning examples.

The bobo doll studies

Theory The study conducted by Bandura and his colleagues involved 72 children aged between 3 to 6 years old. Among them, 36 of them were boys and other 36 were girls. All the children who were involved in the experiment were separately tested before hand in order to check how aggressive they were, and they were rated on four 5-point rating scales.

Since all children were taken from Stanford University Nursery School, it was easier for Bandura and others to observe the children in the nursery. After carefully observing the daily behavior of the children in terms of levels of aggression, children were matched in groups.

This is an example of matched pairs design.


In order to assess the inter-reliability of the observers, two observers were made to independently assess 51 kids and their ratings were compared. This meant that observers were in good agreement regarding the behavior of the children. Methods A lab experiment was conducted as a first method of the experiment.

The children were divided into three different groups of 24 children each. Aggressive model shown to 24 children Non-aggressive model shown to 24 children No model shown control condition — 24 children Step 1: Modeling Each of the children were individually taken into a room and left to play with different toys and pictures while 24 children the first group of 12 boys and 12 girls watched either a male or a female model displaying aggressive towards the bobo doll a form of a toy.

The next group of 24 children the second group of 12 boys and 12 girls are also taken in the room full of toys, where they are exposed to a model playing quietly in non-aggressive manner, ignoring the bobo-doll. The last group of remaining 24 children was control group, who were not exposed to any models.

Aggression Arousal In the second stage, the experimenter used the aggression arousal technique for all 72 children.

Bobo doll experiment | psychology |

Each of the children was taken to the room full of attractive toys individually. And, as soon as the child started to play with the toys, the experimenter told the kids that those particular toys were off limits. This was repeated to each of the 72 children.

Delayed Imitation Test The children were then taken to the next room individually where they had access to different kinds of aggressive and non-aggressive toys.

Non-aggressive toys like tea set, bears, plastic animals, crayons and aggressive toys like peg board, dart guns, and a bobo doll were in the room. Each child was left in the room for 20 minutes and their behaviors were observed at 5-second intervals.

The bobo doll studies

Observations were made through a one-way mirror. One of which included punching the 3 feet bobo doll on the nose.

Bandura and Bobo – Association for Psychological Science

Results The group that was exposed to the aggressive model imitated aggressive responses in comparison to the other groups. Children who were exposed to aggressive model were also seen to show non-imitative and partial aggression.

Girls in the aggressive model group showed physical expression if the model was male and verbal aggression if the model was female. Physically aggressive responses were imitated by boys more than the girls. In the case of verbally aggressive responses, there was virtually no difference between boys and girls.

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Conclusion Albert Bandura succeeded in what he set out to prove. As per the bobo doll experiment, children were likely to learn social behavior such as aggression through observational learning.

In the later years, the experiment has been a base for those who argue that media violence has serious effects on shaping up the behaviors of the children.

Critical Evaluation There are various benefits to the experimental method conducted by the experimenter. Since the experiment was established with cause and effect relationship in a controlled environment, it was clearly absorbed regarding what caused the child to act in the particular manner.

Also, the experiment used precise procedures and instructions. This means that the experiment can be easily replicated using the same variables and procedures as the original experiment.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 Saul McLeod, updated During the s, Albert Bandura conducted a series of experiments on observational learning, collectively known as the Bobo doll experiments.

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 .


The famous Bobo Doll experiment conducted by Albert Bandura in is still widely cited and highly relevant today. It lends support to Bandura’s social learning theory which claims that learning occurs through observation and imitation of others behaviours.

The Bobo Doll experiment was a demonstration by adults hitting and attacking Bobo Dolls while a group of children were watching them. When the children were later put in the room with the Bobo Dolls they did the same thing: hit and attack.

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.

The Bobo Doll Experiment - Psychestudy