How Social Learning and Aggression Affects Children’s Behaviour
This report introduces you to a study by Bandura, Ross and Ross which aimed at finding out how social learning and aggression as contributed to our understanding of children’s behaviour.
We will find out why they had done this research, what happened during this experiment and their outcomes.
Bandura and colleagues researched how we learn, particularly how social learning has framed aspects of behaviour. One study was the Bobo doll study which aimed to explore the extent that children would imitate aggressive behaviour they saw performed by an actor (referred here as a ‘model’).
They believed that watching violence and aggressive behaviour would make a child imitate what they had seen and sought to find out what different factors would affect the number of acts of aggression.
Before this study a Freudian theory suggested that watching violence was good and that it would release our own aggression, therefore not needing to act aggressively. Albert Bandura (BBC) (2010) This study was a turning point in Psychology and although lots questions were raised after, the findings have given us understanding and ideas that social learning can help change our behaviour.
The Study: Bandura, Ross and Ross (1963):
(Brace and Byford, 2012. Investigating Psychology Chapter 3)
Although the experiment was more in-depth, here is a brief outline of what took place.
It took place in a laboratory within a university. Equal numbers of boys and girls, aged under 69 months from the university nursery participated. Each child was put into one of four groups. Each group of children individually observed different variations of aggression towards a bobo doll. Groups:
- 1 watched a live model
- 2 watched a film of a model.
- 3 watched a fantasy cat on film.
- 4 were the control group who did not watch any aggressive acts.
After the aggressive acts were watched each child was