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Bobo Doll Studies

  • By: Albert Bandura
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

The Bobo Doll experiments conducted in the United States in the early 1960s were an outgrowth of a program of research designed to explain how people learn by social modeling. The traditional theories of psychology in the mid-20th century focused almost entirely on learning through direct trial-and-error experience, even though, in everyday life, one’s attitudes, values, emotional proclivities, and styles of behavior are largely acquired through social modeling. This entry discusses the context, experimental methodology, and outcomes of the Bobo Doll studies.

With the advent of television, viewers began to be exposed to heavy doses of modeled violence within the comfort of their homes day in and day out. There was growing public concern over the effects of heavy exposure to the televised brutality. The prevailing ...

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