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One particular experiment shows how adult behavior affects children

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One particular experiment shows how adult behavior affects children

In the 60s the psychologist Albert Bandura conducted a particular controlled experimental study on observational learning, in order to understand if children emulate the behaviors of adults.

He wanted to understand whether kids with aggressive features were imitating the attitudes of the reference figures. This experiment was tested on 72 children of the Stanford University Nursery School, whose ages ranged from 3 to 6 years.

Bandura, together with a group of researchers, decided to divide the children into groups of 24. The first group was subjected to an aggressive model, where the children observed the adults as they beat the Bobo dollan inflatable doll placed in the center of the room.

In the second group, whose model was non-aggressive, however, the children observed the adults playing with the doll e they paid her kind attentions. Finally, in the third group, dubbed the control group, the children were not subjected to any of the previous models.

After observing the behavior of the adults, the children were taken one by one inside the room where the Bobo doll was present, and then be left alonewhile the researchers watched them from the cameras.

Children subjected to the aggressive model, repeated violent behavior observed a few minutes earlier, on the Bobo doll. While those subjected to the non-aggressive model and all the others, they played peacefully with it.

This particular experiment, therefore, showed very clear results; children are able to learn social behaviors, even aggressive ones, simply by observing the way adults approach each other to the next.

Therefore, a child who grows up in environments where aggression is the order of the day, has more chance to develop an aggressive side which could lead him to emulate certain behaviors on peers. A specific study was conducted precisely on aggression, in an attempt to find out what it really depended on.

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However, children have been the protagonists of other experiments. Unfortunately, however, not all studies have given satisfactory results.

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