Behaviorism is also referred to as the learning theory, which is defined as, a psychology approach focused on emphasizing the use of scientific and objective methods of investigation. Behaviorism has a long history focused on proving people are conditioned to act, based on the behaviors they observe. This paper will discuss Bandura’s Bobo Doll study, explain how it differs from traditional behaviorism, and explain how observing adults reflect aggressive behaviors while hitting the doll, and how this will influence the actions of children.
Bandura discovered the children would mimic, or repeat the behaviors they observed. On one hand, this could be viewed as an example of an aggressive behavior, because the adult threw, hit, and kicked the Bobo Doll, but the impact of these actions on the children resulted in the kids taking far more aggressive approaches, by using other things in the room to hit the doll with. On the other hand, the adult hitting the doll could also be viewed as a way to teach children how to play with the doll, because in reality the doll is meant to be hit.
This theory varies from traditional behaviorism, because the children do not just mimic the observed behavior, they took their behavior to the next level of intensity. This makes it clear, observing aggressive, or violent behavior not only increases the likelihood a child would mimic these behaviors, the behaviors would also become a norm and lead to the eventual desensitizing of people from violence and aggression.
In conclusion, it is extremely important to show the difference between healthy, and unhealthy aggression. The Bobo Doll was meant to be hit, but it did not involve throwing, or sitting on the doll to make it easier to hit the doll. Once the children observed the doll being misused, they continued down the aggressive path. Hitting the doll does not always imply aggressive tendencies, but the way the person hits the doll does.
Bandura, A. Bandura's Bobo Doll Experiment: Modelling of Aggression. New York: Worth Publishers, 28 August 2012. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmBqwWlJg8U>.
McLeod, S. Simply Psychology. 2016. 3 January 2016. <http://www.simplypsychology.org/behaviorism.html>.