Social influences:Social cognitive theory

Social influences:Social cognitive theory


  • Bandura et al1961) Bobo doll studies can be used to support Bandura's theory. This experiment involved children observing aggressive and non aggressive adult models and then being tested for imitative learning in the absence of the model.Following exposure to the model, children were frustrated by being shown toys they weren't allowed to play with and then placed in a different room with toys and a bobo doll. Children in the aggression condition reproduced a great deal of physically and verbally aggressive behaviour, resembling the model. Children in the non aggression condition exhibited virtually no aggression towards the doll. This shows that modelling can effect childrens behaviours and supports Banduras theory of 'indirect reinforcement'.
  • Although this study was based on aggression and not gender roles.Bandura also found that boys responded more to the behaviour that men presented to the doll and girls responded more to the womens actions. In turn this study provides the evidence for the reliability of the social cognitive theory due to supporting evidence.



Bandura's social cognitive theory is quite holistic because as well as considering social factors, he did not ignore biological ones. Bandura recognised that the starting point for social learning is knowing which biological sex you are- which is largely based in our biology/genes. 


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