Bandura, Ross and Ross (1961)

HideShow resource information


To show that children learn aggressive behaviour through imitation.

1 of 5


  • 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.
2 of 5


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.

3 of 5


Aggression can be learned through imitation, by observing aggressive models, especially same-sex role models. This has implications for media violence.

4 of 5


+ 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

5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Criminological and Forensic Psychology resources »