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Bandura (1965)

4.1.9 – Bandura (1965)

Description

Aim

The aim of Bandura (1965) was:

To investigate whether children would be more likely to imitate a role model they see being rewarded (vicarious reinforcement).
To investigate whether they would be less likely to imitate a role model they see being punished (vicarious punishment)
To investigate whether the children would be more likely to imitate a role model if they themselves were rewarded.

Procedure

Experimental Design – Matched pairs.

Experimental Method – Lab experiment and a naturalistic experiment (because the IV of child’s gender is naturally occurring)

IV –  Whether Rocky (the aggressive model) was rewarded, punished, or there were no consequences
– Whether the model was the same sex or a different sex as the child.
– Whether the child had no incentive or a positive incentive.

DV – The aggression shown by the children.

Sample – 66 children from Stanford University Nursery.

(1) Rocky (Aggressive model) rewarded. (experimental group)

(2) Rocky (Aggressive model) punished. (experimental group)

(3) Rocky (Aggressive model) has no consequences. (control group)

Bandura wanted to control for base levels of aggression and therefore they were all rated on a 5-point scale for all of these characteristics and distributed evenly into the groups, so one group wasn’t full of particularly violent children.

The children went into a room with the researcher and were told that they needed to wait for the researcher to carry out some business before they could go into the ‘surprise playroom’. While they waited, they could watch TV. On the TV was a different version of the programme depending on the condition.

The program showed the model, Rocky, come up to a Bobo doll and tell it to move out the way. He then attacked the Bobo doll (for example, he kicked it out the room while “fly away” could be heard), and then afterwards one of three things happened, depending on the condition:
(1) (Rewarded condition) An adult walked up to him and gave him a soft drink and some sweets, rewarding him for being a “strong champion”.
(2) (Punished condition) An adult shakes his finger at Rocky, calling him a bully. Rocky then falls and the model sits on him and slaps him with a rolled up newspaper. Rocky then runs away.
(3) (No consequence) The same film is shown but he doesn’t receive any consequence at the end.

The child was then taken into another room with a lot of toys (such as a Bobo doll, a mallet, dart guns)

For 10 minutes they were observed by 2 experimenters who recorded the child’s behaviour every 5 seconds. They didn’t know which condition they were in.
They looked for some pre-determined behaviours such as: imitative verbal aggression, imitative physical aggression, imitative non-aggressive verbal statements and also acts of non-imitative physical or verbal aggression.

Finally, the children were all brought juice and sticker books and were told that they’d get more if they imitated Rocky. (Positive incentive condition).

Results

Model punished  condition led to much less imitation (0.5 mean actions for girls)
Model rewarded and no consequence conditions produced very similar results. (for example, boys got a mean of 3.5 actions)

Conclusion

Children more likely to imitate if the model was rewarded.
Boys imitated more than girls.

Evaluation

Generalisability

(+/-) 66 children, large amount, equally boys and girls.
(-) All children of people who work at/go to Stanford University –> Representative? Children of academics might be brought up differently.
(-) Can children be generalised to adults? Children would probably be more quick to pick up new behaviours due to them still learning.

Reliability

(+) Very standardised procedure (same rooms for everybody, same model for everybody in that condition, etc)
(+) Structured observation –> Decided on what to look out for beforehand and decided on behaviours
(+) Inter-rater reliability –> 2 observers.
(+) Used filmed material –> Same for every child.

(-) There is no guarantee that all the children saw all of the actions.

Applications

(+) Can be applied to real life in terms of bringing up children. It shows that if a child’s role models get punished if they’re aggressive, the children are less likely to become aggressive. However this doesn’t apply if they are offered direct rewards for aggression.

Validity

(-) Ecological validity.
(-) Due to this unusual environment, there may have been demand characteristics because they may have done what they thought the experimenters wanted them to do, like hit the Bobo doll.
(-) Doesn’t consider the biological approach – only the learning theories.

Ethics

(+) Could argue that the benefits to society could outweigh the distress caused because it taught us how to reduce aggression.
(-) Harm –> May have caused distress to the participants by seeing the violent behaviour.
(-) “Normalising unhelpful behaviours” (BPS Guidelines) because the children were shown violence and became violent, this may have stayed with them.
(-) No valid consent gained. Presumptive consent given by their teachers.
(-) Could not withdraw.

 

Bandura (1963)

4.1.8 – Bandura (1963)

Description

Aim

The aim of Bandura (1963) was:

To see whether a child would be more aggressive if shown a realistic model in a film,  an unrealistic model in a cartoon or a real person.
To test whether watching violence was really cathartic.

Procedure

Experimental Design – Matched pairs.

Experimental Method – Lab experiment and a naturalistic experiment (because the IV of child’s gender is naturally occurring)

IV – Whether the model shown was a cartoon, realistic model on TV or a real person.
– Whether the model was the same sex or a different sex as the child.

DV – The aggression shown by the children.

Sample – 96 children from Stanford University Nursery.

(1) Real aggressive model.

(2) Filmed aggressive model.

(3) Cartoon aggressive model.

(3) Control group (Saw no model)

Bandura wanted to control for base levels of aggression and therefore they were all rated on a 5-point scale for all of these characteristics and distributed evenly into the groups, so one group wasn’t full of particularly violent children.

Firstly, the children were put in the model room. In this room, there were toys such as finger paints.
The experimental conditions then saw a model enter the room with a Bobo doll.
The aggressive models acted violently with the Bobo dolls (whether the filmed model, cartoon model or real model).
The filmed aggressive model was an adult female dressed as a cat.

Then, the children were placed in the arousal room, where there were some appealing toys. They were told after a few minutes that they weren’t allowed to play with them toys. This was meant to make the children feel frustrated.

Finally, they were brought into the observation room. 
This room contained a mixture of aggressive (Such as a plastic mallet, and a 3 foot Bobo doll) and non-aggressive toys (Such as cars, trucks, crayons and paper).

The control group saw no role model.

For 20 minutes they were observed by 2 experimenters who recorded the child’s behaviour every 5 seconds.
They looked for some pre-determined behaviours such as: imitative verbal aggression, imitative physical aggression, imitative non-aggressive verbal statements and also acts of non-imitative physical or verbal aggression.

Results

Live, filmed and cartoon model experimental conditions saw no significant difference in aggression.
Control group saw half the amount of aggression.
Bandura filmed the study – qualitative and quantitative data. This was the only one of the three he filmed.

Total number of aggressive acts for cartoon model: 99
Total number of aggressive acts for control group: 54

Conclusion

Children will imitate filmed aggression, cartoon aggression and real aggression the same amount.
Watching violence is not cathartic, it encourages more violence.

Evaluation

Generalisability

(+/-) 96 children, large amount, equally boys and girls.
(-) All children of people who work at/go to Stanford University –> Representative? Children of academics might be brought up differently.
(-) Can children be generalised to adults? Children would probably be more quick to pick up new behaviours due to them still learning.

Reliability

(+) Very standardised procedure (same rooms for everybody, same model for everybody in that condition, etc)
(+) Structured observation –> Decided on what to look out for beforehand and decided on behaviours
(+) Inter-rater reliability –> 2 observers.
(+) Used filmed material –> Same for every child.
(+) Filmed study.

(-) There is no guarantee that all the children saw all of the actions.

Applications

(+) Can be applied to real life in terms of bringing up children. It shows that if a child’s role models are not aggressive, they are also less likely to be aggressive. Especially shows that cartoon violence is just as effective as real life violence in encouraging kids to be violent.

Validity

(-) Ecological validity – unusual environment watching an adult stranger playing with toys.
(-) Due to this unusual environment, there may have been demand characteristics because they may have done what they thought the experimenters wanted them to do, like hit the Bobo doll.
(-) Doesn’t consider the biological approach – only the learning theories.

Ethics

(+) Could argue that the benefits to society could outweigh the distress caused because it taught us how to reduce aggression.
(-) Harm –> May have caused distress to the participants by seeing the violent behaviour.
(-) “Normalising unhelpful behaviours” (BPS Guidelines) because the children were shown violence and became violent, this may have stayed with them.
(-) No valid consent gained. Presumptive consent given by their teachers.
(-) Could not withdraw.

 

Bandura (1961)

4.1.8 – Bandura (1961)

Description

Aim

The aim of Bandura (1961) was:

To investigate whether children would imitate aggression if shown an aggressive aggressive role model, compared to children not shown this aggressive role model.

To investigate whether the gender of this role model (compared to the child) had an effect.

Procedure

Experimental Design – Matched pairs.

Experimental Method – Lab experiment and a naturalistic experiment (because the IV of child’s gender is naturally occurring)

IV – Whether the child is shown an aggressive role model or a non-aggressive role model.
– The gender of the role model in comparison to their gender

DV – The aggression shown by the children.

Sample – 72 children from Stanford University Nursery.

(1) 24 – Aggressive model (Of which, 6 boys and 6 girls saw a male model, and 6 boys and 6 girls saw a female model)

(2) 24 – Non-aggressive model (Of which, 6 boys and 6 girls saw a male model, and 6 boys and 6 girls saw a female model)

(3) 24 – Control group (All 24 saw no model)

Bandura wanted to control for base levels of aggression and therefore they were all rated on a 5-point scale for all of these characteristics and distributed evenly into the groups, so one group wasn’t full of particularly violent children.

Firstly, the children were put in the model room. In this room, there were toys such as finger paints.
The experimental conditions then saw a model enter the room with a Bobo doll.
The non-aggressive model ignored the Bobo doll and played quietly next to the children.
The aggressive model pushed the doll over, punched it, hit it with a plastic mallet and shouted aggressive phrases such as “Hit him down”

Then, the children were placed in the arousal room, where there were some appealing toys. They were told after a few minutes that they weren’t allowed to play with them toys. This was meant to make the children feel frustrated.

Finally, they were brought into the observation room. 
This room contained a mixture of aggressive (Such as a plastic mallet, and a 3 foot Bobo doll) and non-aggressive toys (Such as cars, trucks, crayons and paper).

The control group saw no role model.

For 20 minutes they were observed by 2 experimenters who recorded the child’s behaviour every 5 seconds.
They looked for some pre-determined behaviours such as: imitative verbal aggression, imitative physical aggression, imitative non-aggressive verbal statements and also acts of non-imitative physical or verbal aggression.

Results

Those who observed an aggressive role model were more aggressive.

Male role models seem to have more of an impact.

Boys watching a male aggressive role model showed an average of 25.8 acts of violence, compared to girls watching a female aggressive role model who showed 5.5 acts of violence on average.

Conclusion

Behaviours can be learnt by imitation even if not reinforced.
Male role model more influential
Boys more likely to be physically aggressive.
Verbal aggression –> boys imitated the male role model more, girls imitate the female model more. (The model they identify more with)

Evaluation

Generalisability

(+/-) 72 children, large amount. But only 6 in each experimental condition
(-) All children of people who work at/go to Stanford University –> Representative? Children of academics might be brought up differently.
(-) Can children be generalised to adults? Children would probably be more quick to pick up new behaviours due to them still learning.

Reliability

(+) Very standardised procedure (same rooms for everybody, same model for everybody in that condition, etc)
(+) Structured observation –> Decided on what to look out for beforehand and decided on behaviours
(+) Inter-rater reliability –> 2 observers.

(-) Each time the model performed the action, they might have done things slightly differently which might have affected what the children saw.
(-) There is no guarantee that all the children saw all of the actions.

Applications

(+) Can be applied to real life in terms of bringing up children. It shows that if a child’s role models are not aggressive, they are also less likely to be aggressive. Especially shows that models of the same gender can be more effective at times, for things like verbal aggression.

Validity

(-) Ecological validity – unusual environment watching an adult stranger playing with toys.
(-) Due to this unusual environment, there may have been demand characteristics because they may have done what they thought the experimenters wanted them to do, like hit the Bobo doll.
(-) Doesn’t consider the biological approach – only the learning theories.

Ethics

(+) Could argue that the benefits to society could outweigh the distress caused because it taught us how to reduce aggression.
(-) Harm –> May have caused distress to the participants by seeing the violent behaviour.
(-) “Normalising unhelpful behaviours” (BPS Guidelines) because the children were shown violence and became violent, this may have stayed with them.
(-) No valid consent gained. Presumptive consent given by their teachers.
(-) Could not withdraw.

 

Schedules of Reinforcement

4.1.4 – (Properties of reinforcement, including primary and secondary reinforcement and) schedules of reinforcement. 

Continuous reinforcement – a behaviour is reinforced every time it occurs

Partial reinforcement – a behaviour is reinforced sometimes, but not every time it occurs.

Schedules of partial reinforcement

Fixed Variable
Interval First instance of behaviour is
rewarded after a set period of
time.
First instance of behaviour is rewarded
after a set period of time, but the set period
changes every time.
Ratio Behaviour is reinforced after a
specified number of times shown.
Behaviour is reinforced after a set number
of times, but this number of times changes
every time.

Animal Research

4.2.2 – Animal Research

Using Animals in Research

Arguments for

  • Shorter gestation periods (For example rats have a gestation period of 22 days). This means that developmental studies can be conducted much faster, and also large samples can be created quickly.
  • No demand characteristics leads to higher internal validity.
  • You can control animals more than humans due to ethics. For example, you could control exactly what a rat ate throughout its whole life, but you can’t do that with a human.
  • You can cause pain and distress to the animals as long as it’s part of the research and not unnecesary, something which isn’t allowed with humans. (Eg. Skinner’s Skinner box)
  • We can somewhat generalise due to the fact that we share common ancestors.
  • Small amounts of suffering in animals can avoid the suffering of many more people/animals.

Arguments against

  • Lacks ecological validity.
  • Animals are very different to humans, therefore it can be hard to generalise.
  • Over 90% of drugs deemed successful on animals go on to fail in human trials.

Ethical Issues

Scientific Procedures Act includes any scientific procedure which may cause pain, suffering, distress or long lastime harm to a protected animal is affected by this act. It protects these animals from harm.

  • Researchers must justify the costs to the animals compared to how useful the study is.
  • Animal research must be licensed on an individual project basis.
  • All researchers must be trained to gain an individual license to do animal research.
  • They should minimise pain and suffering.
  • They should recognise and assess any adverse effects on the animals.
Introduction to Psychology
Psychological Skills

Introduction to Psychology

Note: This course is for Edexcel Psychology A Level (and AS level), specification (9PS0 – taught from 2015). Also, in the A level, there are a total of 4 topics, but only two are compulsory. Everybody must study clinical psychology, but one must be chosen from the other three. This website will only cover criminological psychology – not health psychology or child psychology.


Psychology is the science of the mind, mental states, processes and behaviours.

Approaches

In Psychology there isn’t a single, universally-accepted way to explain behaviours, instead, there are many approaches which explain various behaviours. No one approach is correct, and most Psychologists would agree that the true explanation for behaviours is a result of multiple approaches.

Approach Explanation Methods of Research
Social Approach Social Psychology is the study of how groups of people interact and why they do so. The key behaviours this specification covers are obedience and prejudice. Self-report (Questionairres and interviews), and to some extent experiments, observations and correlations
Cognitive Approach Cognitive Psychology explains human behaviours using mental processes, especially cognition (Our awareness and understanding). Cognitive Psychology involves memory and learning. Lab expermients and case studies
Biological Approach The explanation of behaviour due to biology, for example hormones and neurotransmission. This specification focuses on how biology affects aggression. Brain scans, correlations, twin studies
Learning Theories (Behaviourism) The explanation of behaviour as a result of how the behaviour is learnt. This specification focuses on learning phobis and aggression. Animal/Human lab experiments
Psychodynamic Approach The explanation of behaviour as a result of different parts of our personality being expressed, along with the unconcious mind. Case studies

Key Definitions

Word Definition
Theory A theory is a set of ideas which tries to explain how a behaviour or aspect of the mind works. As with any science, these theories cannot be considered as facts, but instead can become ‘accepted’ theories with supporting evidence.
Study A study is a piece of supporting evidence for a theory, this could be in the form of a lab experiment, a survey, an observation, etc.