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Current time:0:00Total duration:9:46

Observational learning: Bobo doll experiment and social cognitive theory

Video transcript

so it's kind of common sense that you should watch the way you behave when you have little kids in your presence because the concern is that the little kids can pick up your bad behavior or maybe learn a choice order to that they're not supposed to be using in preschool the underlying concern in this is that children can observe your bad behavior and then learn through observing it and there's a psychologist who studied this by the name of Albert bandura and this is actually a very famous psychological experiment known as the Bobo doll experiment in the Bobo doll experiment is a pretty famous psychological research study that you hear cited sometimes when people are having the debate of whether or not they should ban violent video games for those of you who don't know a Bobo doll is basically a blow-up doll that you can punch now I don't know if kids still play with these things these days since now they have X boxes and all sorts of other fancy technology but this experiment was back in 1965 and you know this is pretty much the cream of the crop when it came to toys back then so this is an inflatable doll that people call Bobo doll because it has a clown on it so the way the experiment worked was they had a group of children in a laboratory doing an arts and crafts project that sounds nice enough except in the middle of it suddenly a man appeared and proceeded to start punching and hitting and kicking this inflatable doll and not only was he being aggressive physically towards this doll he was also shouting hit it kick it so he did this for ten minutes straight just pummeling this doll to a bloody pulp if you could say that about an inflatable doll all the while yelling hit it kick it and some of the children observed this behavior another ones it didn't really faze him they were just so into their arts and crafts project that I guess it really didn't matter much to them so after the ten minutes passed the man left and the next part of the experiment required the kids to feel frustrated so the researchers were kind of mean about this and what they did was they gave these kids an impossible puzzle to solve in other words they gave him a puzzle with some pieces missing and imagine how frustrating that must be you can't put it together so I knew that that would cause frustration and what they did was a the researchers observed through a one-way mirror how the kids reacted to this frustration now in this laboratory they're brought to a room where it was filled with toys so maybe here's a balloon he was a cool teddy bear and of course in the room was this Bobo doll the very same one that that man had beat up for ten minutes and what the researchers observed was many of the children would actually come up to the doll and proceed to hit it and not only were a lot of them hitting it the ones that were hitting it were often yelling hit it kick it this very same words that that guy had said earlier so what this revealed was that kids can learn through observing the way people behave so as you might imagine oftentimes you'll hear this Bobo doll experiment mentioned in the debate of whether or not they should ban violent video games or not let kids see violent movies because this experiment showed that children can indeed learn through observing behavior but learning a behavior and performing a behavior are two separate topics many of the kids were aggressive towards the doll and yelled the same things that the man had yelled so you could say all right so the majority of kids yes who are aggressive towards the doll but not all of the kids are aggressive towards the doll maybe all the kids didn't learn this aggressive behavior so Vande wanted to know what's going on with these kids how come they didn't behave the same way towards the doll did they maybe not learn that aggressive behavior so they performed another experiment that was fairly similar the one I just described so in this next experiment what they did was they set up a TV in a laboratory and I don't know I bet back then TVs had bunny ears so on this TV the kids saw a Bobo doll in someone being aggressive towards the Bobo doll also yelling hit it kick it but the difference here was that the video showed afterwards that person being punished for for acting that way towards the doll they were spanked and told they were doing something wrong so the children saw the consequence of that behavior so after they watched the video they were placed they were placed into a room again with toys in some of the kids again walked up to the Bobo doll and started hitting it and I mean were they hitting it or also yelling hit it kick it so these kids did that but what about these kids do they not learn that behavior so what they did to find that out was the researchers basically bribed these kids and offered them stickers and juice you know things kids love if they could imitate the behavior that they saw on TV and what they found was that the kids were indeed able to imitate that behavior and this is a concept known as learning performance distinction and what learning performance distinction is that learning a behavior and performing the behavior are two different things you can learn a behavior but not perform the behavior but what's important to take away from this is that not performing the behavior doesn't necessarily mean you didn't learn the behavior so again just because these kids initially didn't perform the behavior of acting aggressive towards this Bobo doll that doesn't mean that they didn't learn it because it was clear once you bribe these kids with juice and stickers and things that they like they were in fact able to perform that aggressive behavior so they actually did learn even though they didn't act that way and again this is what's important when you think of that classic debate of whether they should ban certain types of violent video games because you'll hear people who are against the censorship saying well you know my child play's violent video games and doesn't act aggressive or my child watches violent movies and doesn't act the way that those people do on TV but that doesn't necessarily mean that just because they're not performing that behavior that they're seen that doesn't mean they're not learning that behavior so as a scary thought to think about right now when it comes to learning bandura devised his own theory known as bandura's social cognitive theory talked about a mouthful but it's pretty easy to remember if you ask yourself am i motivated so set it with me am i motivated to learn bandura's social cognitive theory are you motivated let's see let's write it out am i motivated well I'm sure you are if you're watching this video but really this is a mnemonic that I came up with then might make it easier for you to remember it da stands for attention the M stands for memory the I stands for imitation and motivated it stands for motivation so let's just remove this these two letters motive a tion so this is bandura's social cognitive theory and the four components of it attention memory imitation and motivation so let's use an example to illustrate what I'm talking about here so let's say I want to teach you how to draw a star so here we go I want you to learn this did you see me draw it ok so in order to learn how to draw a star like I did of course I don't know why you wouldn't have to draw it anyway but let's say that you've never seen this really interesting star before okay so so you have to have an intention span long enough to watch me go through the movements of drawing the star not only have to have the attention span yet to have a memory to remember me drawing the star and what imitation means is you have to be able to imitate what I just did so let's delete the star now and if I were to ask you to draw it or imitate the way that I drew it that the imitation and that would involve your memory and have an attention span long enough to do it and then of course it comes down to is motivation if you're going to draw a star for me you probably have the attention span long enough to watch me go through the movement I'm sure your memory is good enough to remember me doing it so I'm sure you're capable of imitating me drawing that star but the question is are you motivated enough to do that so if you were you would do and that's been Dora's social cognitive theory so am i motivated and if you just watch this whole video I'm sure you are