Understanding Social Behaviors and Their Relationship with Observation and Imitation in Bobo Doll Experiment, an Article by Saul McLeod

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As stated in the Bobo Doll Experiment article by Saul Mcleod, the main point for the experiment was to get a deeper understanding at social behaviors such as aggression and their correlation with observation and imitation. These researchers were essentially trying to understand if perhaps behaviors are acquired. Through their experiment, they were able to use the scientific method and produce results that pertained to their hypothesis. The methodology used for the experiment was inspired by the matched pairs design in which the subjects were rated based on a five-point scale and then placed in groups with similar subjects After placing the subjects, the researchers were able to confer that it was in fact acquired through observation and imitation.

Through the first stage of the experiment, modeling, the children were first taken into a room individually containing toys and pictures for 10 minutes in different scenarios: The children watched a male or female model behaving aggressively towards a doll. The children watched a model peacefully play with the doll or not at alli In the third model the children were not exposed at all to the model and were used as a control group. A control group can vary as either a positive or negative control group. Positive being the results the researchers are looking for and negative being the results the researchers are not looking for.

For the second stage of the experiment, it is known that all the children were subjected to what is called “mild aggression arousal.” In this stage, the children were told to play with “the very best toys” and were able to decide whether or not to reserve these for the next children. In the third and final stage, we see a test for delayed information. This test was used as it is possible for information to be lost during an experiment as not all outcomes are the same. In this stage, the children were subjected to aggressive and non-aggressive toys. During this time, they were observed for certain time intervals.

Overall, the researchers were able to conclude that children who observed the aggressive model made more aggressive actions than those in the non-aggressive and the no-model control groups. The girls in the aggressive model also showed more signs of aggression if their model was a male as opposed to a female. The only exception being is how often they punched the Bobo doll in which the result was reversed The boys were more likely to imitate same-sex models as opposed to girls and were also more physically aggressive.

This experiment and its results were able to support Bandura‘s hypothesis that stated that children were more observational learners and that these social behaviors were more acquired. The results of the Bobo Doll Experiment supported Bandura’s hypothesis that children are highly influenced by observational learning and that social behaviors, including aggression, are acquired through observation and imitation.

In conclusion, the Bobo Doll Experiment provided valuable insights into the acquisition of social behaviors, particularly aggression, through observation and imitation. The findings supported Bandura’s hypothesis and highlighted the impact of modeling on children’s behavior. This experiment contributed to our understanding of how social behaviors are learned and emphasized the importance of considering observational learning in the context of child development.


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Understanding Social Behaviors and Their Relationship with Observation and Imitation in Bobo Doll Experiment, an Article by Saul McLeod. (2023, Jun 19). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/understanding-social-behaviors-and-their-relationship-with-observation-and-imitation-in-bobo-doll-experiment-an-article-by-saul-mcleod/

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