Bandura, Ross and Ross (5)
Strengths of the Method: Experiments can allow for cause and effect to be established. For example, the model did have an effect on the child's subsequent behaviour because all variables other than the independent variable were controlled. A lab experiment allows for precise control of variables such as the gender of the model, the time the children observed the model, the behaviour of the model, etc.Experiments can be replicated. Standardised procedures and instructions were used allowing for replicability. In fact the study has been replicated with slight changes, such as using videos, and similar results were found. When a study is replicable, it allows the results to be checked for reliability. The study yielded both quantitative and qualitative data. Collecting quantitative data means that the number of aggressive acts between girls and boys, and between those in the aggressive and non-aggressive conditions could easily be compared. The collection of qualitative data allowed the researchers to understand why the behaviour of the male models was more likely to be imitated.
Limitations of the Method: The study lacked ecological validity. The situation involved a child and an adult model, which is a very limited social situation and in the study there was no interaction between the child and the model at any point. Also the model and the child were strangers. This, of course, is quite unlike 'normal' modelling which often takes place within the family, or in a setting where the child and model would interact. Therefore, the results cannot be generalised to real life settings.The study was just a snapshot study (as opposed to a longitudinal one), so from this study we cannot discover if such a single exposure can have long-term effects.