Later, the children were put in a mildly frustrating situation. The children were given some of their favorite toys, and then the toys were taken away. Most researchers still believed in the frustration/aggression hypothesis at the time, so researchers thought this would increase the likelihood of aggression. After this, the children were left in a room with a three-foot Bobo doll and other toys, such as crayons, dolls, and toy bears. The researchers secretly observed for 20 minutes. The children who had witnessed the adult striking the Bobo doll were far more likely to strike their own three-foot Bobo doll. A control group (which had not seen the adult abusing the Bobo doll) was less likely to act aggressive.
1. Basic research matters. In my research methods course, I try and drive home to students the idea that basic research is important. Even though applied research feels more exciting and more important (wouldn’t we all rather find the cure to something than do the studies that lead up to finding a cure?), the vast majority of applied research projects find their roots in basic research. Dr. Bandura provided me with more ammo for this discussion by reminding me that his original bobo doll study was not designed with any sort of application in mind. This was a study on learning and aggression, pure and simple. Yes, it was putting behaviorism to the test and, yes, it had clear implications to a host of areas (e.g., media violence, advertising). In fact, Dr. Bandura is now working on several international projects to apply this work. But, none of that changes the fact that it was originally carried out as a test of theory with no other intentions.
If the disruption was blamed on a failing hearing aid, no aggression toward the confederate was observed.Berkowitz (1978,1989) revised the frustration-aggression theory.His revised theory stated that frustration led to anger, and anger can sometimes lead to aggressive behaviorAnger : An emotional readiness to perform an aggressive behaviorAnger arises when a person who frustrates us could have chosen to act otherwise.Social Influences on aggressionEnvironmental cues can increase the likelihood or amplify aggressive behavior.Berkowitz & LePage (1967): Subjects made angry by an insulting confederate gave more electric shocks when given the chance if a rifle and revolver were on a table nearby, than when badminton rackets were left on the table.Berkowitz (1968): Children who had just played with toy guns were more likely to knock down another child’s blocks than children who had been playing with non-aggressive toys.Other Factors which can contribute to Aggression:Pain: Heat: Crowding: The Learning of AggressionWhen people (especialy children)observe aggressive behavior which is rewarded, this can increase their own use of aggression.A child whose aggressive acts intimidate other children will often become increasingly aggressive.Aggressive Hockey players (as measured by penalty minutes) score more goals than non-aggressive players (McCarthy & Kelly, 1978).Reinforcement: Canadien youth hockey players whose fathers applauded rough play show the most aggressive style of play.Large scale riots can lead to changes in social and economic policies.Observational Learning:Bandura (1979) Social Learning Theory: We learn social behavior by observing and imitating the behavior of others, in particular observing the consequences of particular actions.Had children watch a video of a confederate playing with a "BoBo" doll.
Those children who had seen the confederate being rewarded were much more likely to play aggressively with the BoBo doll.Bandura believes that aggressive models appear in the1.
5. Take pictures. As I said before, most psychologists will tell you that there are three studies in Psychology that stand out as the most famous: The Milgram Obedience Experiments, The Stanford Prison Experiment, and Bandura’s initial Bobo Doll Study. Regan asked him why he thinks these three studies became so well known. He pointed to three things: (1) each had social implications. (2) each involved aggression and included findings that were surprising to people, and (3) each had photo and video evidence of their findings. We spent a lot of time on this last one and how, in a visual world like the one we live in, video/photo footage goes a long way toward helping ideas stand out to people. In fact, some of the other famous studies in psychology (, , and Chabris and Simons ) all include video footage that helps drive the point home for students and the public at large.
In humans, a predominant influence is : seeing aggressive behavior acted out in families or on TV. The most famous study showing the effects of observational learning on aggression is the research of Bandura, Ross, and Ross (1961). A Bobo doll is an inflatable doll with a weight such as sand in the bottom, so each time it is knocked down, it pops right back up. It invites aggression (hitting) from small children. (These toys are almost never called Bobo dolls in toy stores, but they were in this study.) Bandura, Ross, and Ross arranged for nursery school children to watch an adult spend nine out of ten minutes in aggressive play with a five foot Bobo doll. The adult first assembled some toys, then turned his attention to the Bobo doll. He knocked it down, kicked it into the air, made angry comments toward it, and hit it with a mallet.
A classic example is the Bobo doll research conducted bypsychologist Albert Bandura in the 1950s and 60s to investigate the impact ofviewing violence on aggressive behavior in children.