In the 1900’s, Albert Bandura made important strides in the field of psychology. He was a social cognitive psychologist and he wanted to learn how watching other people influences our behavior. He particularly studied aggression. At the time, people believed that watching violence reduced aggression. In order to test out this belief, Bandura experimented on small children, aged 3-5. He put a child in a room with an adult and a bunch of toys. Bandura also put an enormous inflatable doll called the Bobo doll and instructed the adult to beat the doll violently for about 10 minutes. After the adult walked out of the room, the child did exactly the same thing the adult did – act violently towards the toys. While experimenting with different people, he also found that the children imitated the adult’s action better if they were of the same sex. He also experimented another group where instead of a violent adult, he put a calm adult in the same room as the child. The children in room with the calm adult imitated the adult’s behavior. Bandura’s experiments demonstrate that violent actions influence you. In addition, he advanced his studied by after televisions started moving into home. Two years later, Bandura reran the experiment, and his goal was to compare a child’s reaction to violent behavior on television. Children in one group watched fantasy television and children in the second group watched the violent version. The children imitated what they saw. The results launched an entirely new area of research. He had shown that we can be strongly influenced by other people’s behavior. This is the basis of what is called social learning theory. How we learn changes as we mature. As we grow up, we develop a capacity to reflect what we see and we also identify with other people.

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