The aim of the study was to see whether children would imitate aggressive behaviour when given the opportunity, even if they saw these behaviours in a different environment and the original model observed and the original model they observed performing the aggressive act was no longer present.
How many hypothesis were there?
What was the first hypothesis?
Children who observe an aggressive model will reproduce the aggressive acts of the model. These aggressive acts will not be seen in children who have observed non-aggressive models or are not exposed to a model.
Children will imitate same sex models more than opposite sex models.
Boys will be more likely to imitate aggressive behaviour than girls.
The participants were from Stanford University nursery school.
How many children took part? And how many boys and girls were there?
72 participants. 36 girls & 36 boys.
100 participants. 50 girls & 50 boys.
84 participants. 44 girls & 40 boys
What was the age range of the participants?
37 months to 69 months, the average age was 52 months.
30 months to 59 months, the average age was 52 months.
37 months to 71 months, the average age was 52 months.
How many children were in the experimental condition?
What adults were involved?
Three, a male and a female model and a female experimenter who conducted the study.
Four, a male and a female model and two male experimenters who conducted the study.
What controls were used?
The experimenter and nursery teacher who both knew the children well gave them a rating out of 5 on the pre-existing aggression level. They were then grouped in to groups of 3 and each one went into one condition.
The children were left alone in room 3 so the experimenter didn't influence them, they were observed through a one way mirror every 5 seconds for 20 minutes creating a total of 240 observations.
What method did the researcher use?
Matched pairs design.
How was the study kept standardised?
The male and female models were briefed to behave in the same way and they were both used throughout the study.
Children had all the same toys offered to them.
A marl and female model were used.
What toys were in room 1?
Potato prints, picture stickers, tinker toy set, mallet, five-foot bobo doll.
Fire truck, a doll, spinning top.
Toy cars, dinosaurs, teddy bears.
What did the model do in the aggressive condition?
Pushed the bobo doll over, sat on, punched, kicked, threw it around and hit it in the head with a mallet. These acts were repeated about three times. They also used phrases such as "sock him in the nose" and "hit him down". They also used non aggressive phrases such ad "he sure is a tough fella". After 10 minutes the child was moved to another room.
The model began to act aggressive towards the car toys forcing them to crash into each other and shouting phrases like "I'm going to smash this car up".
What ethics were broken during this study?
Right to withdraw
Protection from harm
In room toy there were toys such as a fire engine, a train, a spinning top and a doll with lots of clothes and a cot.
After two minutes in room 2 the experimenter said the toys were reserved for other children and took them away.
How was room three standardised?
All toys were placed in exactly the same places.
The children all had to be left alone.
In room 3 there were only aggressive toys.
What were the aggressive toys?
Bobo doll, a mallet and dart guns.
Toy gun, tool kit and racing cars
What three types of aggression were recorded?
Imitative aggression (hitting with mallet/kicking/tossing in air)
Imitative verbal aggression ("sock him in the nose", " pow" and "kick him")
Imitative non aggressive verbal responses ("he sure is a tough fella")
Children who saw an aggressive model imitated the aggressive acts of the model more than those who observed a non aggressive model or no model at all.
Who showed more imitative physical aggression?
It was roughly equal
Girls showed more physical aggression if the model was male and more verbal aggression if the model was female.
This study doesn't back up social learning theory.