See Aggression…do
Austin Lin and Jordan Kodner
Social learning theory - belief
that learning is the primary
factor in personality
Previous research showed that
children imitated behavior of
adult models
Albert Bandura and associates
proposed study in 1961 at
Stanford University to test if
aggression is learned
Bobo doll study
Exposed children to adult models who behaved in
aggressive way and then tested in new situation without
model present to see how aggressive they would behave
• Subjects that observed violence would imitate it
• Subjects would more readily imitate aggressive samesex models
• A greater number of male subjects would be
aggressive compared to female subjects
72 children: half boys, half girls ranging from ages 3 to 6
Children led to a playroom and on the way encountered adult
model that was asked to come “join in the game”
The child was seated in
one corner with toys
Experimenter was seated
in another corner with a
set of different toys
For both the non-aggressive and
aggressive trials the adult started by
playing with the toys
The room was filled with attractive
After a short time they were not
allowed to play with them and were
moved to the final room
The final room was filled with nonaggressive and aggressive toys (mallet,
bobo doll, dart guns, toy cars/trucks,
crayons, tea set, etc)
Measures of aggression:
• Imitation of physical aggression
• Imitation of verbal aggression
• Mallet aggression (hitting with objects)
• Non-imitative aggression
• Those exposed to violent models imitated aggression
• Subjects in non-aggressive group averaged far fewer
instances of violence
• More boys were aggressive compared to girls
Wanted to prove that behavior could be learned through
observation and imitation
• No reinforcement
Child viewing ‘inhibition’ against aggression
• Message that this form of violence is permissible
Aggression=masculine-typed behavior
• Boys followed male models more than girls following female
• Male modeling of violence carried social acceptability
• More powerful in ability to influence observer
Recent applications
Two Major Contributions
• Most of behavior that make personalities are formed through
modeling process
• Groundwork for new research
Aggression and Sex
Hostility generates sexual arousal/enhancement
lack of it creates sexual indifference/boredom
Rape creates less sexual arousal than a non-rape environment
Bobo doll video