Bandura performed an experiment to find out if there was a relationship between children observing aggression and children imitating aggression acts. In his experiment, children were categorized into groups and there were set conditions for every group, which was film model, live model, and cartoon model. There was also one control group that did not have a model.
Bandura selected 96 children aged between 35 to 69 months with a mean age of 92 months. The children were from Stanford University Nursery School and comprised 48 girls and 48 boys. The subjects were then tested for nonimitative and imitative aggression in varied experimental settings. The control group was not exposed to aggressive models and was only tested in the generality circumstance.
The independent variable is a variable that is being measured and it does change. In this article the independent variable is aggression. The dependent variables are children being observed for aggression.
Bandura selected children from Stanford University Nursery School who were then randomly placed in groups. Each group was invited at different times to take part in the experiment by requesting them to play in the toy room. The children were then given time to watch a film. The two experimental groups were:
The aggressive Model Rewarded Condition
Under this model, children were requested to watch a film that had 2 models Rocky and Johnny. Rocky was identified as verbally aggressive
Aggressive Model Punished
The series of the film was alike to the aggressive model rewarded condition, but the only difference was that the models were being appreciated for their behavior instead of being reprimanded. There were two control groups in the experiment and they included the following;
Non-aggressive model condition
In this group, children were let to watch a film involved in energetic but non-aggressive behavior. The models played actively, for instance, they bounced and threw a ball to each other and also danced with the bobo doll.
The behavior of children was measured based on the incidence of children showing an aggressive behavior, for example, hitting bobo doll with other dolls or kicking bobo doll.
The results of the study indicated that children who watched the aggressive model get rewarded showed imitative violence and opted to be like the model as compared with those who watched the model being punished for his deeds. The general results of the experiment indicated that imitation relies on the punishments and rewards received by models. The bobo doll experiment played a significant role in enabling people to understand the theory of social learning. It indicated that it is through learning that an individual can adapt new skills, behaviors, feelings, beliefs, and values by observing others and their effects. The study further showed that there were higher chances for girls imitating verbal aggression while boys were most likely to copy the physical behavior. As a result, children are most likely to imitate similar sex model.
The main conclusion about the study was that introduction of children to filmed aggression increases aggressive reactions of children. The study also showed and demonstrated some characteristics of the social learning theory. This was because children were capable of learning aggressive behaviors through watching adult models.
What I liked in the study was carrying out an experiment to determine whether watching aggression actions among children contributes to aggressive reactions. What I disliked about the article was children imitating aggressive behaviors because the children would change their behavior.