Observational Learning of Violent Behavior

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Today violence has become an every day experience in life. Playing video games or turning on the television, and flipping through the channels at random, you will most likely stumble upon various forms of violence. Does it desensitize or help us tolerate violence? And the most controversial issue, does it cause violence? Most humans learn by simply watching, and then imitating the action rather than trial and error or direct experiences of the consequences of our actions (this is not to say that watching and imitating is the only way of learning). This method of learning is called observational learning. The highly recognized psychologist with observational learning is Albert Bandura. Bandura's theory states that observational learning is the result of cognitive processes that are actively judgmental and constructive opposed to mechanical copying. Bandura created an experiment to prove his theory. The experiment consisted of three different films, and four year old children that watched them separately. On each of the three films, a female adult aggressively played with a Bobo doll (hit, punch, kick, throw, etc.). The only differences in the three films were the endings. One ending showed the woman being rewarded with soft drinks, candy, and snacks, after playing with the Bobo doll aggressively. The other version of the film portrayed punishment by scolding and spankings by other adults, after performing aggressive behaviors towards the Bobo doll. In the last film the aggressive adult experienced no consequences what so ever. After seeing one of the films the child was placed in a room alone with several toys and Bobo doll. The room was also equipped with a one-way window so the child could be observed without their acknowledgement. The experiment showed that the consequences in the films that the children observed in the ending, created a different outcome. The children who witnessed the film were the adult was rewarded was most likely to...
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