Aims and Objectives:
• To gain an understanding of how the study was conducted
• Learn why this has contributed to how to our understanding of children’s behaviour
• Understand how the study has affected our understanding of children’s behaviour
• To identify some of the key limitations of this type of study
In 1963 a study was conducted by Bandura et al. to determine the extent to which children would imitate aggressive behaviour that they saw performed by someone else.
The study was conducted using 96 children, equal numbers of boys and girls of an average age of 4 years and 4 months.
The experiment was conducted across three distinct play rooms each ...view middle of the document...
Group 3 – was shown a cartoon of a fictional character (a cat) behaving aggressively towards the doll
Group 4 – was shown no aggressive behaviour being performed.
How and why this study contributed to understanding:
The Bandura et al. study was one of the first of its kind, opening the door to further study and understanding of how children learn from the behaviour and gave an indication of how exposure to media violence could impact a child’s behaviour.
The study did not however take into account time, the children’s behaviour was monitored a short time after exposure and no check was done to assess the length of time that the children would continue to be affected by the aggressive behaviour.
This study showed Psychologists at the time that when a child is exposed to aggressive behaviour in any form it causes a noticeable increase in the aggressive acts performed by child. However it also showed us that the aggressive behaviour can vary greatly depending on the sex of the child, the sex of the model and nature of the aggression that they are exposed to.
It taught us that there are differences in the aggressive play tendencies of boys compared to girls, the boys for example were much more likely to engage in gun play and other non-related aggressive play behaviours whereas girls were more likely to partially imitate the aggressive behaviour to a...