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Summary of Transmission of Aggression A.Bandura

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Summary of “Transmission of Aggression through Imitation of Aggressive Models” by A.Bandura, D. Ross and S. A. Ross
In the study of, “Transmission of Aggression through Imitation of Aggressive Models”, A. Bandura, D. Ross and S. A. Ross wanted to study the idea that children learn and demonstrate aggressive behavior from observing and then imitating adult models with aggressive behavior (A. Bandura, D. Ross & S. A. Ross 1961). The study was conducted to find out if children would behave aggressively if exposed to aggressive models. There were thirty-six boys and thirty-six girls between the ages of around three to five years of age that attended the Stanford University Nursery School. As far as the models, there was one male and one female as well as one female experimenter to conduct the study. There were eight random experimental groups and one control group that was determined with the help of the staff ratings of the children’s current aggressive behavior to help limit extraneous variables. Some of the groups had same-sex models while the others had models of the opposite sex and the control group had no involvement with the models at all. The control group was only tested in the experimental rooms.
The subjects were brought into a room and told to play with familiar toys at a table in the corner while the model was brought in to the opposite corner of the room to play with toys such as a tinker toy set, a mallet and a five foot inflatable Bobo doll. The aggressive models would start out playing with the tinker toy set but the aggressively hit, kick and use verbal aggression towards the doll. The non-aggressive models would ignore the Bobo doll and only play with the tinker toy set. While the subject is playing in his or her corner, they are observing such behavior from the models. After ten minutes, the experimenter would then take the subject to another (experimental) room in a different building.
This room was used to arouse aggression by telling the subject to play with the toys in the room and then about two minutes later, the subjects were told that those toys were reserved for other children to play with. The subjects were then told to go into the next (experimental) room to play with the toys in there. The position of the toys in this room were fixed and there were aggressive toys and nonaggressive toys available for the subjects to play with. The experiment was a double blind procedure meaning that neither the participants nor the experimenter knew who was in what group. However, as the experiment went on, it was easy to tell which participants were being exposed to the aggressive models versus the non-aggressive models after observing the subjects through a one-way mirror.
The subjects were then scored on their measure of imitation every five seconds. The measures of imitation were, imitation of physical aggression, imitative verbal aggression, imitative nonaggressive verbal response, mallet aggression, sits on Bobo doll, punches bobo doll, non-imitative physical and verbal aggression and aggressive gun play. Some subjects played with no aggression at all and some even sat quietly without playing with any of toys at all. As a result of this study, “the prediction that exposure of the subjects to aggressive models increases the probability of aggressive behavior is clearly confirmed” (A. Bandura, D. Ross & S. A. Ross 1961 p. 577-578). This study is important in today’s society because it provides evidence that children imitate behavior. People need to be aware of the effects of their actions on the children they are around because ultimately their actions could become the child’s actions.

References
Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. (1961). Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63(3), 575-582.…...

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