To show that children learn aggressive behaviour through imitation.
- 72 boys and girls (36 of each) divided into 3 groups
- In the aggressive condition, an adult model entered the room and began to play with the toys. The model behaved aggressively with the Bobo Doll, kicking it and hitting it with a mallet.
- In the non-aggressive condition the model played with the toys nicely and ignored the doll.
- In the control model there was no adult model.
- The children were then taken into a room with attractive toys in it, but not allowed to play with them. This produced mild annoyance.
- Finally, the children were taken into a room with the toys and a Bobo Doll. They were allowed to play and their behaviour was recorded.
Children in the aggressive condition were much more likely to play aggressively with the Bobo Doll, than both of the other two groups of children.
Aggression can be learned through imitation, by observing aggressive models, especially same-sex role models. This has implications for media violence.
+ controlled experiment, and it s reliable since it can be replicated.
+ has many important, real-world implications e.g. effects of media violence.
- lacks validity, it is an artificial situation and the children were aware that they were part of a study, so demand characteristics could be present.
- many argue that even young children know the difference between play or fanatsy violence and the real thing