Wednesday, August 21, 2019
The most famous psychological studies Essay Example for Free
The most famous psychological studies Essay The most famous psychological studies of children and aggressive behaviour are Albert Banduras Bobo doll studies, performed at Stamford University, which are now widely regarded as early research classics in the field. These were experimental studies in which children of nursery school age observed a video in which an adult was hitting, punching, kicking and throwing a large inflatable doll. Particular actions were used which children would be unlikely to perform spontaneously. The children were then observed, as they played alone in a playroom with the same doll for 10 to 20 minutes. A controlled group of children were allowed to play with the doll without observing the video of the aggressive adult behaviour. As you might expect, the children who witnessed the adult aggression performed similar acts and the others did not. In this study, Bandura has shown that children display acts of aggressive behaviour, acquired simply through observing someone else performing in these acts. There are many flaws in this study however, which can influence or exaggerate the reactions of the children such as the environment in which the study is held. The laboratory is an uncomfortable area in which children may act in a way which is alien to their usual reactions, and they may behave as they feel they are expected to, one child was recorded asking Mummy is that the doll we have to hit? Children are noted to understand and differentiate between fantasy and real life, (it is ok to hit a doll but not a person.) It is also thought that the theorists conducting the study may have intentionally encouraged the aggression, something that most parents would not. So although Bandura did prove that the childrens behaviour was undoubtedly linked to the images they had seen, it was an artificially made environment (both literally and by means of behaviour expressed by all parties) and therefore I would argue that it couldnt possibly reflect a true scenario. Other studies relating to this concept reached the same conclusions until a study by Feshbach and Singer (1971). Understanding that the environment of a laboratory may be a establishing factor in the behaviour of children, Feshbach and Singer decided to conduct their experiment in schools, an environment in which the children would feel comfortable and therefore more inclined to react in a way which is more accurate. Going into a boys home the theorists spilt a class into two groups, and conducted a manipulated situation over a duration of six weeks. The boys were exposed to different types of television, one group were shown typically violent shows, and the other observed generally neutral television. The results proved an opposite reaction to Banduras study; the boys exposed to the violent television remained the same, while the other group had gotten considerably more aggressive during the experiment. This reaction is in line with the CATHARIS theory, which claims that watching violent programmes decreases levels of arousal, leaving viewers less prone to aggressive behaviour. These studies are extremely contradictory and the differences are an example of how it is extremely difficult to define the exact link between television and behavioural effects.
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