The Bobo Doll Experiment

In this past week we talked about how the media can influence our health by shows, movies, and online reports. This influence affects society by creating medical scenarios that aren’t also the way things would go in real life or by advertising for certain medicines.  Another way media can influence society is by showing violence. Children and adolescent spend an average of seven hours a day either with a TV, computer, video-games, or a cell phone. This mass control of their life is a very easy way to influence children.

In 1961, Albert Bandura conduct an experiment to see how children’s exposure to violence can affect their actions. In his experiment, called the Bobo Doll experiment, children would watch how an adult would act toward a doll, either violently or nicely. Bandura then watched to see how to child would act once the adult left. Overwhelming, the children who were exposed to adults acting in violent manners also acted in violent manner towards the doll. This shows that children learn social behaviors like aggression through observation learning.

The Bobo Doll experiment shows how sensitive children are to everything they see. Again, children are exposed to an average of seven hours of media. If this media is at all violent, such as certain video games it can affect the way those children behave.

http://www.simplypsychology.org/bobo-doll.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobo_doll_experiment

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/How-Media-Can-Affect-Children’s-Health.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR:+No+local+token

http://www.personal.psu.edu/bfr3/blogs/asp/2013/06/bobo-doll.html

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8 thoughts on “The Bobo Doll Experiment

  1. Do you believe if this experiment was replicated, with different generations, that the results could change? I believe that a similar out come may occur, but in different amounts. I believe to an extent that each generation is different because they have experiences different things thought their lives. This I believe would cause a different reaction in different generations, at least to an extent. What do you think the long term impacts of this experiment could be? If there are any at all.

    Halle Van De Hey

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  2. to me this is a very interesting experiment , not only considering violence, but with everything else as well. children are so easily impressionable to things around them, even as something as simple as they way you walk. My sisters girls walk like me now. What is really upsetting is that even the worst behaviors are accepted now, like fighting, because our youth sees people fighting on TV and its okay.
    Great Job
    Colleen Wilburn

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  3. Interesting study. I wonder if the age of child mattered in how they reacted and treated the doll. cognitive processing can be sensitive at young ages so perhaps if younger kids saw violence, it would register more strongly than a teenager, who knows a little more. I doubt this would have any effect but
    do you think race would shift the results? background certainly would, they should try the experiment with poor vs rich kids.

    Chandler B

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  4. Ive heard of this study before and thought it was very intriguing. as with any experiment there are so many variables in play that it is hard to exactly determine a result from the data, Like what was said above would the reactions be different if the kids came from different backgrounds or have different education levels, its hard to tell. But it is easy to say that kids will imitate adults because that is how they learn, so it is very important that adults are good role modes and practice good health techniques

    Tom Walters

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  5. I remember learning about this experiment in a psychology class in high school. It is very interesting to find different examples of the ‘nature vs. nurture’ principle. I didn’t realize children spent so much time looking at screens every day. Because of this experiment and other data, we know the different forms of media can affect how children behave. It is especially troubling if the media is violent. I think more research should be done on this subject since this is probably the most time children have spent (throughout history) consuming media through screen-time.

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  6. I think this is a really interesting study because it actually shows how much children are influenced by what they hear and see in their everyday lives and many people don’t realize this. It’s very easy for children to get their hands on something showing violence that they shouldn’t be seeing so it is important for parents to try to limit that. If this experiment was true for violent behaviors, it would be interesting to see if other behaviors are taught the same way for children.

    Jacob Fischer

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  7. I’ve heard of this experiment before and thought it was very interesting. I agree with some of the comments above such as if this same experiment was conducted today would children react the same way as the children did in 1961?
    I do agree that children are impressionable, especially by their siblings and parents. But can they be easily influenced by an adult they are just watching on tv or through a video game?

    – Tarah Klenk

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  8. I hadn’t heard of this experiment, however its premise is very plausible. As I mentioned in a different comment I left about the “Happy Bob” article, media plays a hug role in todays world. Both with adults and unfortunately kids. I think it is from the greed of corporations that today’s children are the forgotten sponges that see all, hear all and are expected to be unaffected. Very unlikely. Thanks for the great read!

    – Allison Johnson

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