Bandura, Ross and Ross (1961) Transmission of Aggression through Imitation of Aggressive Models

  • Created by: Hey
  • Created on: 28-05-19 10:47

Topic 6—Criminal Psychology

Bandura, Ross and Ross (1961) Transmission of Aggression through Imitation of Aggressive Models


  • To see if children would imitate aggression that was role-played by an observer adult.
  • To whether or not the  sex of the role model and sex of the child would be an important factor in whether a child would imitate aggression or not.
  • They were interested to see whether sex influenced the likelihood of aggression being imitated.


  • 36 girls & 36 boys aged between 37-69 months old, recruited from Stanford University Nursery School.
  • Divided into 8 groups of 24 children.
  • The control group did not observe a model.
  • 4 of the experimental groups were exposed to an aggressive model & 4 were exposed to a non-aggressive model.
  • These were further divided into male & female children who observed either a male or a female model.
  • All the children were allocated to conditions to ensure each group was equally matched regarding aggression.
  • They were rated for aggression from observations of their behaviour by an experimenter & their teacher in the nursery school.
  • A female experimenter brought each child individually to an experimental room at the nursery & placed them at a table in the corner to play with potato prints & toys.
  • The experimenter then invited the role model into the room to play with the toys in the opposite corner.
  • This corner of the room contained various toys, including an inflatable Bobo doll.
  • The experimenter left the experimental room & the model began playing with the toys.
  • In the aggressive condition, after 1 minute, the model played aggressively with the inflatable Bobo doll.
  • The model punched the doll on the nose, tossed & kicked the doll, & used a mallet to strike it.
  • During the assault, the model repeated aggressive phrases, such as 'Kick him' & 'Pow'.
  • After 10 minutes, the model left the room.
  • Each child was taken to a different room & allowed to play with more toys, these toys were highly


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