Social Learning and Aggression

          Albert Bandura conducted many studies on aggression. However, one caught my eye and I found it to be rather interesting. This study was the Bobo doll study that was conducted in the mid-1960's. A Bobo doll was a blown up clown punching bag, when hit the doll pops back up. The study consisted of elementary schoolers that were shown a film of behaviors of aggression towards the Bobo doll. The elementary schoolers were broken into three separate groups. One group was shown a film where the adult conducted four aggressive behaviors towards the doll. The film just ended.The next group of elementary schoolers were shown a film where the adult conducted the same four aggression behaviors but at the end there was 15 secs. added and the adult was shown feeling their muscles in their arm (model reward). The finaly group also watched the same 4 behaviors that were conducted by the adult. 15 seconds were added to the original film, but this tme the adult received a slap on the hand (punishment). After the schoolers viewd the films they were allowed into a room where they could play freely. There was a Bobo doll in the room. The children that watched the film with the adult feeling thied muscles, left the children feeling that those acts made them strong and superier. They copied the actions. However, the children that watched the film where the adult recieved a slap on the hand, did not show the aggresive behaviors towards the Bobo doll. This showed that kids can learn aggression by what they observe.

            I feel that Bandura did an excellent job on displaying social learning and aggression through this experiment. I found it to be interesting on what a child observes can really affect their thoughts and actions. When reading the text, it mentioned that around 1950, when 9% of american homes owned televisions, they saw an increase in the violence children were exposed to violence and aggression (Powell, 2005, p.451). Many of us grew up not knowing how television was before there was so much violence on it. It makes you think if it has any affect on how you handle aggression today?

I also felt this study went along with what we learned, rule-governed behavior. Rule-governed behavior is behavior that has been generated through exporsure to rules. Even though there was not written rules for the schoolers in the study. There was visual rules, they say if the adult was punished or rewarded at the end. This gave the schoolers unwritten rules on how to be able to act when playing with the Bobo doll.

  Here is a link to watch the Bobo Doll study:


  1. Hey Erika,
    Humans and Bandura and learning. They all go hand in hand.
    I feel that Bandura was explained in detail in the book and I thought he was an interesting fellow.

  2. Erika, I agree with you about how most of us grew up watching many aggressive and violent movies and cartoons without any supervision from an adult. Bandura's examples make a great point of what is most likely to happened when a kid is expose to violence and aggression. I grew up in a third world country with little control or oversight on what is shown on TV and easy to see how children copy what they see on tv.

  3. I really like and appreciate your work.
    ugly girls


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