Previously published in Examiner
Part 5 of the Role Modeling series
The Bobo Doll experiment
The Bobo doll experiment conducted by Alfred Bandura was tested out in 1961, to lend credence to his beliefs that human behavior is fashioned by learned behaviors though imitation and copying otherwise known as modeling. Bandura did not believe our genes determined behavior.
Behaviorists were called the second-generation psychologists and they opposed the older views of the psychologists and psychoanalysts such as Freud, Jung, and Erikson who were known as the first generation psychologists.
The psychoanalysts believed that everyone was sick, and had to be cured. The behavorists also known as learning theorists, believed that our behaviors were determined by what we learned; we could unlearn bad behaviors and we could learn new more adaptive behaviors as well.
The Bobo Doll experiment was an attempt to show that we can also learn vicariously, meaning passive learning, we learn by what we see other people doing.
The Bobo Doll
The Bobo doll was an inflatable toy that was five feet high. It was designed so that it would bounce back when punched. This experience was to test if children who were never exposed to such a toy and didn’t know what to do with it would imitate an adult they saw punching the toy.
Bandura also wanted to know if children would show less aggressive behavior towards the Bobo doll if they did not see an adult’s aggression towards it. Before the experiment took place Bandura also hypothesized that boys would be more aggressive and that children would identify most with same sex adult role models.
Bandura’s subjects were 3 to 6 year old from a local nursery school. For the complete details of the experiment go to: http://www.experiment-resources.com/bobo-doll-experiment.html
to be continued
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