Social Cognitive Theory: The Causes Of Aggression

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Aggression is a spoken or physical behavior that causes intentional harm to a person. There are many different theories that argue what the cause of aggression is but this can be divided into two major types: people who think that aggression is inborn and those that view it as a learning behavior. The Social cognitive theory states that we learn behaviors through observation and modeling and this could be implied that we learn aggressive behaviors through observing and imitating others. The Social Cognitive theory claims that people learn behaviors from observation, modeling, and motivation such as positive reinforcement. Psychologists mention that people learn behaviors by imitating models through observational learning; as well as through…show more content…
He conducted this study to see if social behaviors (specifical aggression) can be obtained by observation and imitation. Bandura had two aims in his experiment. First, to see whether children would imitate aggression modeled by an adult and second, whether children were more likely to imitate the same sex-models. For this method, he divided children aged 3-6 years (36 boys and 36 girls) into three groups, each having 24 children. The groups were made by the level of aggression based on an evaluation made by their parents and teachers. The independent variable was manipulated into three conditions. The first group were children who watched an adult showing aggression against the bobo (spoken and physical aggression), the second group were children who were exposed to no aggression (playing quietly, ignoring the Bobo doll) and the third group were children who served as the control group, not exposed to any model at all. After some few minutes, the children were placed in a different room with attractive toys. They were told that it was the experimenter’s very best toys and had decided to reserve them for other children. This was done to create some kind of level of frustration in order to cause aggression. Next, they were taken into the room with the Bobo doll. Bandura found that the children who observed the aggressive model made more aggressive responses than those in the other two groups. Regarding the second aim,…show more content…
The evidence is proved by the two studies: Bobo doll experiment by Bandura and the natural experiment conducted by Charleton. It is very practical in its ability to be applied in real life situations. The social cognitive theory can be applied to explain many things such as aggressive behaviors and how behaviors can differ in different cultures. Concerning the construct validity, this is hard to observe and measure because we cannot be certain what actually causes aggressive behaviors. The theory is unbiased, however, looking at the studies, they are both done on children. Thus, we don’t really know if the result is the same for all ages. From the studies shown above, we can predict the theory. We can predict that people learn behaviors through observing and imitating others; however, factors such as culture can influence one’s way of thinking about the
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