Albert Bandura (1925-present) Pioneering researcher in observational learning Was born in the small town of Mundare in northern Alberta, Canada He received his bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1949 He went on to the University of Iowa, where he received his Ph.D. in 1952 In 1953, he started teaching at Stanford University and continues to work at Stanford to this day
Social Learning Theory Also called observational learning, this is learning that occurs by observing and imitating others (the person being observed is referred to as the model) Major components involved in observational learning Attention Retention Reproduction Motivation Self-efficacy
Major Components Attention If you are going to learn anything, you have to be paying attention. Likewise, anything that puts a damper on attention is going to decrease learning If, for example, you are sleepy, groggy, drugged, sick, nervous, etc you will learn less. Likewise, if you are being distracted by competing stimuli Retention Retention Second, you must be able to retain -- remember -- what you have paid attention to Reproduction You have to have the ability to reproduce the behavior in the first place. You have to have the ability to reproduce the behavior in the first place. For example: Some people can watch Olympic ice skaters all day long, yet not be able to reproduce their jumps, because they can’t ice skate at all! On the other hand, if they could skate, their performance would in fact improve if they watch skaters who are better than they are
Major Components Motivation Motivation Bandura feels that even with all this you’re still not going to do anything unless you are motivated to imitate, i.e. until you have some reason for doing it Bandura mentions a number of motives: Past reinforcement Past rewards Promised reinforcements Incentives that we can imagine Vicarious reinforcement Seeing and recalling the model being reinforced Self-Efficacy Having a sense that you can do it well
Bandura, Ross, and Ross (1963) The “Bobo" Doll Experiment Note : Bandura did a large number of variations on the “Bobo doll” experiment…we’ll look at a few Phase 1 Pre-schoolers were divided into two groups and put into two separate rooms and allowed to play with "attractive" toys while “Bobo” an unattractive inflatable, adult-sized, egg-shaped balloon creature (the kind that bounces back after it's been knocked down) sat by itself at the far end of the rooms
Bandura, Ross, and Ross (1963) The “Bobo" Doll Experiment Phase 2 Group 1: While playing with the attractive toys the children witnessed adults enter the room and start beating the daylights out of the clown Group2: While playing with the attractive toys the children witnessed adults enter the room and play nicely with Bobo Phase 3 The attractive toys were taken away from each group Results: What happened next?
Bandura (1965) The “Bobo" Doll Experiment In the 1965, version kids watched films of adults beating on Bobo – but each had different endings… Film 1: Adult praised and rewarded with candy and soda by another adult who was heard saying, “You’re a strong champion” Film 2: Adult is scolded by another adult, “You’re very bad” or “Hey there, you big bully, you quit picking on that clown”
Who cares about what a kid does to a "Bobo" doll? Well, that’s what the critics said…”those things are made to punched aren’t they?” Responding to criticism that Bobo dolls were supposed to be hit, Bandura did a film of a young woman beating up a live clown When the children went into the other room, what should they find there but -- the live clown! When the children went into the other room, what should they find there but -- the live clown! They proceeded to punch him, kick him, hit him with little hammers, and so on…
Don’t let your husband watch those violent movies… Loye, Gorney, & Steele (1977) Participants: 183 married males; 20-70 years old Procedures: Watch one of five TV “diets” for 20 hours over a one week period Unknown to participants, their wives were secretly observing and recording their behavior “Helpful” vs. “hurtful” behaviors when not viewing TV Results: Viewers of violent programming increased in aggressive mood and “hurtful behavior” Viewers of prosocial programs decreased in aggressive mood and demonstrated an increased “emotional arousal” from the TV viewing
Limitations There is one clear limitation to this study…
Is Television To Blame? Hundreds of studies say yes! Why? Social Learning Theory says: People become immune to the horrors of violence They gradually come to accept violence as a way to solve problems way to solve problems They imitate the violence they observe on television television They identify with certain characters
Space Blaster Doomsday Version 2.5
Social Learning Theory of Aggression Theory that aggressive behavior is learned through: Direct Reward (example: father buys son an ice cream after he wins a fight) Observing Others Being Rewarded for Aggressiveness (example: a television character wins the girl of his dreams as a result of killing several people)
Glamorizing Violence Plagens, et al. (1991) Typical American child sees 200,000 acts of violence on TV by age 18 Children who watch a lot of violent TV are more violent towards peers Experimental studies, in which violence is controlled, also find effects of watching violence
Other studies have found… By the end of elementary school, a typical American child will have seen: 8,000 murders More than 100,000 other acts of violence. 2003 study found 534 separate episodes of prime-time violence during a 2 week period. The most violent TV shows are targeted to children (e.g., cartoons).
Violent Video Games Several studies have shown significant results indicating that playing violent video games is associated with a history of property destruction and hitting other students… Anderson & Dill (2000) College students randomly assigned to play a violent video game (Wulfenstein) later had more aggressive thoughts and feelings than those who played a nonviolent game (Tetrix)
Dilemma for parents about letting children watch television and play video games parents find video a good babysitter parents believe video can sometimes be educational tool Experts suggest parents turn off the TV to avoid exposing children to video violence Videos
Most “good guys” are male white heroes Women/females portrayed as victims or adoring friends not as leaders Content of video games even worse than than that of television more violent, sexist, racist Videos
Videos Content of video games crucial reason behind great concern of developmental researchers -Research shows that violent TV and video games push children to be more violent than they normally would be Computer games probably worse, as children are doing the virtual killing
Immediate Effects of Media Violence Aggressive models increase aggressive behavior among children and adults Models can be live or on film Violent imagery in the music industry associated feelings of hostility and aggressive thoughts Playing violent video games can increase aggressive thoughts and behaviors
Long-Term Effects of Media Violence Exposure to TV violence at ages 6-9 positively correlated with aggression as adults No gender difference Cross-cultural study found relationship between early viewing of TV violence and later aggression
Black & Bevan (1992) Movie-goers filled out an aggression questionnaire as they entered, or left: a violent movie, or a nonviolent movie… DV: aggression IV: type of movie
Procedures Subjects were randomly picked as they went to view violent movie or romantic film In both cases, they were asked to fill out pretest questionnaire on aggression After viewing the movie, they were again asked to fill out another questionnaire on aggression (posttest)
Results and Implication Those watching the violent movie were more aggressive to begin with They became even more aggressive after watching the violent movie Implication: Watching Violence Magnifies Violent Inclinations
Can have positive effect… Friedrich and Stein (1972): The Mister Rogers Study: Showed a preschool group Mister Rogers every weekday for four weeks During the viewing period, children from less educated homes became more cooperative, helpful, and more likely to state their feelings Other studies: Children, especially males, who watched educational television became teens who earned higher grades, read more
Cookie Monster is on a diet..
Sesame Street is doing its part… All components of observational learning /operant conditioning are involved Kudos to the Cookie Monster and his friends
Maybe a new name?
Conclusion: Application of Bandura’s Theory Prosocial behavior Bandura feels it can be used to promote prosocial behavior – helping behavior Violence in schools Bandura feels his theory applies to today’s violent times as well